Friday, July 29, 2011

7 Quick Takes- Vegetable Edition


I've radically changed my diet in the last month.  I've made a few major changes, but the most important is that I'm focusing on eating 5 veggies a day.  It hasn't happened everyday- especially the days we were flying ;)  But, this one simple change drastically altered how I view eating on a daily basis.  There were several encounters that led to this transformation.  

Watching Sew detox.  Although I am doing a tiny bit in comparison to Sew, she has inspired me to think about my colon and veggies are good for that!


Getting a book from a friend about using almond flour and coconut flour led me to Elena's Pantry.  After reading her recipes and seeing her diet, I was inspired to incorporate more veggies.


Wellness Mama is very inspiring.  I'm not sure I totally buy into going grain-free, her recipes and ideas are great. 


Reading Born to Run.  The vegan diet this Mexican tribe eats keeps them free from chronic illness.


Weight Watchers topic of the week a few weeks ago was Vegetables .  They encouraged us to make the veggies the centerpiece of the meal. 


A had a long talk with a physical therapist friend.  She founded her own clinic and treats patients using integrative techniques.  She very, very gently encouraged me to eat more veggies.  She said they are the key to what I need to get healthy. 

So, after being knocked over the head about this topic several times, I'm thinking it might be the Holy Spirit working.  Do I feel better? A tiny bit.  I am more regular though ;)  Cravings are fewer and I'm still losing weight.   And, I feel as though I'm being proactive with my health which brings great peace. 

Do you guys have any recipes with veggies as the centerpiece of the meal?  I'm doing lots of romaine and spinach wraps and roasting veggies on the grill.  That's going to get old fast!!

Visit Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back from Vacation

AJ and I just got back from a week in Seattle visiting my sister's family.  We had a wonderful time and I'm feeling very, very lazy.  After doing almost nothing yesterday, I am trying not to have a repeat today.  I've missed you guys and have been reading, but not commenting.  Hopefully, I'll get caught up today in between cleaning up the mess that is my house. 

Caleh at Barefoot and Pregnant posted a link to Gerard Nadal's blog.  In the video, several priests are praying at an abortion clinic.  After watching the video, I realized, one of the priests is from our parish!  I was so proud of him.  Go Father Camaioni!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Faith Journey- Part Two

College was very tough for me.  Much of the reason was because I didn't have a faith community to call home.  There were other reasons, too- much to many to go into here.  I became depressed at the large university I attended.  I was in no way prepared for the challenges college presented.  In the middle of this disaster, I met Guitar Man.  He also was a disaster in the making.  There is no reason our relationship should have flourished during this time.  Yet, it did.  It was because Guitar Man loved me.  Sure, I loved him back.  But, he loved me unconditionally and fully.  I was not so generous with my love.  In that way, God was present in our early relationship.  Guitar Man's love was a healing balm on my wounded heart.  He taught me what it meant to be loved.  We started a 7 year tumultuous, secular dating relationship- if you know what I mean. 

When we were married in 1998, we weren't ready to go back to church.  Instead of getting married in a church we were married in a ceremony led by a laicizied  married priest.  Even though part of me shudders now thinking of it, his gentleness and acceptance was an important part of our journey.  Shortly after our wedding, Guitar Man started his PhD. in political philosophy.  His advisor was a devout Catholic and through  the study of philosophy under this brilliant man, Guitar Man's heart slowly began to open. 

During this time, my father underwent surgery for prostate cancer.  I mentioned to my boss that I would like to go back to church, but wasn't comfortable in any church, but the Catholic Church.  She mentioned that I should try the Newman Center at NIU.  I started attending Mass sporadically for about 6 months.  Guitar Man was very encouraging and I probably wouldn't have gone if he didn't encourage me to go.  I felt right at home at Newman.  It's a relaxed, diverse atmosphere with upbeat music (I'm pretty sure B16 wouldn't approve of the music, but it really was part of what drew me back).  The priest at the time, Fr. Steve, was gentle and humble.  His homilies contained the recurring message of letting God's love into our hearts.   One day, Guitar Man came to church with me.  It was like a switch went off in his head and we were back.  I probably would have just kept going intermittently.  This is a pattern in our relationship where I venture out as the wandering explorer and Guitar Man follows for a while and then he runs ahead and makes a decision about which direction to go. 

On August 5, 2001, our marriage was convalidated in the Catholic Church by Fr. Steve.  All of our parents were present as well as my sister who wore her bridesmaid's gown from our first wedding.  Guitar Man calls me his first wife from his second marriage and I call him my second husband from my first marriage ;)  It was a glorious day.  We were finally home and could take part in the Eucharist.  Sadly, we missed church the next day because we were out celebrating.  Oh my.  Kinda embarrassing, but the truth.  That very day, we conceived our son, AJ.  Never, ever hearing of Theology of the Body or NFP, but knowing contraception was wrong, we used the 'rythmn method' by not having relations on days 10-18.  Well, I was way off on my cycle and I erroneously thought it was day 6 when it was day 13 which I know now means nothing, but evidently it was a fertile day. *

Once we find out about AJ, we decided Guitar Man would stay home- I was in no way ready to stay home.  I was still nursing wounds from childhood and would have been a depressed stay at home mom.  The women at my work mothered me and taught me how to be a mom.  If he asked me now, I could totally do it ;)  We thought he could finish his PhD. while he took care of the baby (hahahahahaha) .  We bought a small house.  AJ was born and I never felt natural at something until I was a mother.  He had some developmental delays which took much of our time and energy to help him overcome.  I kept working as a teacher and still do.  Guitar Man has since abandoned the PhD.  Having him teach and write while I worked was becoming more and more stressful.  We decided we didn't want to move out of state so we could closer to family.  If he wanted to pursue a professorship, we would have to move.  He took a great, flexible job at a local business. 

Guitar Man is an excellent father. In many ways, he's much more of a natural than I am.  But, he never wanted more children.  He didn't feel the Lord was calling him to have more.  So, I began a prayer campaign for him to find his vocation hoping that more children would be part of it.  At this time I also found Relevant Radio and my faith life took a huge jump forward.  That radio station helped me fall head over heels in love with the Catholic Church.  Then, I found Danielle Bean and Elizabeth Foss and all of you guys.  I can now say I'm starting to have a relationship with Jesus and most days, my life is a prayer.  We look forward to Mass, it is the highlight of our week.  This brings me now to the present time when now Guitar Man is open to life and yet, after two years of trying (with pretty much perfect timing every month), I've been labeled infertile.

All of this sounds just like a quick history of my life.  But, when I think of my faith, I can't help think of my history because of the guidance the Holy Spirit has given me.  Through all the pain and hardship, I could have a falling apart marriage and a bitter heart.  But, He kept me open to the love that Guitar Man has for me even though our life dreams don't match.  He filled my heart with gratitude and joy.  He put me in a school with early childhood experts that could guide our beautiful child through his delays.  He placed us in a community with a strong network of support and a laidback attitude- just what we need when navigating life with a child who needs a little extra help along the way.  He led me to this part of the blogosphere and to Napro which will hopefully help us have another child and if not, help discover why I've had life long fatigue.  He is the author of Life and I know my story is safe in His hands.

*I am so very sorry if this information is in anyway painful for anyone.  It's actually painful for me knowing for so many years I took my fertility for granted.  It is one of my biggest regrets and I'm still working through the pain.  So much of it is in education.  If I would have only known.....But, who knows if my heart was ready to hear it.  Give it God, Kim, Give it to Him.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Creighton flunkie

Whenever I go to a followup and my practitioner asks all the questions like, "Did you check your observations everytime before you urinate?," "After you urinate," "After swimming," etc, I always have to say "no."  There's always that one time that I'm barely able to make it to the bathroom anyway because I'm trying to drink more water.  Or, when I've left my class unattended to run to the bathroom.  Or, like yesterday, when I spent the day at the waterpark which had a dimly lit bathroom.  I always get marked as a poor charter.  It doesn't bother me too much because it only happens a handful of times a month and I never get complacent.  I'm just not perfect and I can't lie to her about being 100%.  My practitioner is so sweet about it.  I hope it won't go down in my permanent record ;)

Friday, July 8, 2011

7 Quick Takes


An unfortuate series of events led to me using the dog's toothbrush instead of my own.  As you can tell from my previous post, the dog can do no wrong so I wasn't too disturbed.  Until Guitar Man asked me how many poops she ate that day.  Her only unseemly characteristic is that she eats her poop.  Grody.


I usually am able to get out in the yard and clean it all up by the 4th of July.  We live on a corner so our lot is big. I like the side yard look decent so it takes a while.  Well....I'm just starting the clean up now.  I desperately need a hair cut too so as I was out there yesterday I was thinking that my life is a bit shaggy right about now.  The consolation is that we've been having loads fun so far this summer (along with all the doctor's appointments ;) ). 


I'm in the middle of reading The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything by James Martin.  It's a great, accessible overview of Ignatian spirituality.  Sew recommended God and You by William Barry a while back and I read that.  Martin does a whole chapter summarizing God and You so it was a good refresher.  Have any of you read either one? 

Yesterday, my friend gave me Born to Run.  It's a book about a Mexican tribe of long distance runners.  They run with joy in a cooperative spirit and they are extraordinarily humble.  They are super healthy and have few injuries even though they can run a hundred miles in their sleep.  I can't put it down so the above book will have to wait a few days.  I'm burning through it.

I've really struggled the last year with books.  I always have a spiritual book going which is great, but I'm a really sloooow reader when it comes to material I'd like to retain.  That reading is slow going so I'd like to have something lighter to read going at the same time.  But, not too light if you know what I mean.   I've lost my taste for chick lit and can't seem to get 'into' any good novels.  I've started and not finished several great books (Wuthering Heights, Brideshead Revisited, Kristin Lavransdatter, Let the Great World Spin).  For years, I've been able to get wrapped up in stories such as these.  Not so much in the last year.  So, I'm giving up the fight and switching to non-fiction because it seems these types of books are reeling me in.  I loved Left to Tell and Into Thin Air.  I hope my love of fiction comes back soon. 


I have a several prayers that are weighing heavy on my heart. Would you mind saying a quick one for C, P, R and A?  Hard, hard stuff happing in these four lives.  Thanks in advance. 

I've noticed something since I began this blog.  I feel as though I have a stronger, clearer voice in my mind and in my relationships.  Thank you for providing a safe community to share my deepest thoughts. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gratuitous Pet Post

I apologize in advance for the schmaltz. 

Years ago as an anniversary gift, my mom gave my husband and I a framed print of "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost  It was her way of affirming our knucklehead decisions.  I've always had the knack for choosing the hard road.   In comparison to many, I've had it easy.  But, for me and my hardened heart, it's been hard.  The fruits of that road have been plentiful, by the grace of God.  I'm sure He knew what he was doing when he planted the desires of my heart.  He knew a challenging profession and working motherhood would teach me to become more humble.  He knew working in a high poverty school district would help me see the face of Christ in everyone.  He knew a smallish house that needs repairs would teach me discipline.  He knew an artist husband would teach me to look beyond material success.  He knew a child with some special needs would teach me patience and understand true self worth.    He knew all these decisions would lead me toward the very, very beginning stages of understanding redemptive suffering.  And he knew all the other stuff I didn't decide on like breast cancer in my mom, secondary infertility and chronic fatigue would prepare my heart to accept His will, not mine. 

In the midst of the difficulty, He sent me something that was easy and sweet and beautiful.  He sent me something I never dreamed of having because of lifelong allergies.  He sent me something that soothes my soul and the only sadness and pain associated with her is that fact that she won't be with us forever.  He sent me Cookie.

Cookie on the first day at our home- 11/15/09. She was 8 years old and in the local shelter for the second time in her life.  We are so glad she found us!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

7 Quick Takes- Prayer Edition

When I wake up in the morning, I tend to be very distracted so my prayer time is filled with rote prayer.  I save the daydreaming contemplative prayer for later in the day.  These prayers root me in the day and if I don't say them, I miss them.  They have slowly evolved over time as life changes, devotions are discovered and intentions emerge.  As of now these are my morning go-to prayers:

Danielle Bean introduced me to the prayer a few years ago.  I've always wanted to buy a mug from her- maybe one day...There are many versions out there.  Here's ours:

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of your mother Mary, I offer to you my prayers, my sufferings, my disappointments, my joys and all my works.  I give you these together with all that is offered to you in the sacrifice of the Mass everywhere in the world . I give this gift in reparation for my sins, for the needs of people throughout the world, for the intentions and needs of my loved ones and for our Holy Father.  Amen
From The Essential Catholic Prayer Book 
Cause, boy, do I need it.

Prayers to St. Peregrine and St. Jude
The prayer to St. Peregrine  is mainly for my mom who has suffered from breast cancer and 2 recurrances for the past 7 years.  She's in a great spot right now and the tests she has every three months have come back clear for the past 2 1/2 years.  Unfortunately, now there are 8 other friends and family members with cancer that are added to the list.  St. Jude is also for my mom because he's her patron saint.  I also add the intentions of those wanting children. 
Favorite line from prayer to St. Jude: Notwithstanding this request, help us to see our trials as reflections of the sufferings of Christ. Let us see even now the great hope and faith that we may share with Christ in the glory of his Resurrection. 

The Serenity Prayer
I started saying this recently after listening to Father Emmerich Vogt's CD series on Detaching with Love. 

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
A few months ago I realized what an important prayer this was in my childhood so I added it to my daily rotation.

Dedication to St. Joseph
I was born on St. Joseph's day and my middle name is Jo so I've always had a love for St. Joseph.  I'm always trying to model his humility and obedience.  Trying being the operative word.

Prayer to St. Michael
Oh, how I love this prayer.  It makes me feel so safe in this crazy, sinful world. 

See Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!