Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Best of 2011

2011 was good to me even if I didn't get pregnant.  Here is a list of what was great about this year.

St. Teresa de Avila
She was my patron for the year.  I loved meditating on the fact that she struggled spiritually until she was 40.  Since I turned 40 this year and the learning curve with this spirituality thing has been steep for me, I took great comfort in knowing her journey.  

This was my word for the year and even though I'm not completely where I want to be, peace has begun to seep into my heart and for that I am grateful.  Much of the reason is that, with God's help, I've been able to temper some bad habits.  

Weight Watchers
Can you guess what one of the bad habits is?  I'm only 3 pounds away from goal.  

Anit-inflammatory diet and T3
I could be wrong but, I think these two changes were key in helping me feel better.  I'm a bit apprehensive because I'm not sure where the diet will lead me or if I'll need more than T3.  But, at least now I have enough energy to research it more. 

They spend an inordinate amount of time with me and answer every weird question.   

She is the person who figured out how tired I was.  She didn't just say, "Oh, your depressed or anxious."  Now, she's working with me on anger management and I'm learning so much.  

I try to avoid discussing relationships on this blog in case the person would find the post.  But, suffice it to say that I've had several key relationships in my life that became troubled.  Some of them have improved because I've put up healthy boundaries.  I've been praying for God to send some catholic friends and boy, did the Lord deliver.  We've made friends with a couple at church and I joined a book club that's mostly people from church.   These people aren't outwardly spiritual- I'm not going to be saying the rosary with them any time soon. But, they are good, positive people that are fun to be around.  They've been a breath of fresh air.  

Guitar Man and I continue to grow in our relationship even with a few bumps along the way.  AJ is finally doing solidly well in school.  Nothing in school has been easy for him and he's finally working at grade level in 5th grade.  My mom has made it another year- alleluia.  

Thank you for this community.  I love reading your struggles, your joys and your stories.  Thank you for sharing- I love you.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

prayer buddy reveal

I had the distinct honor to pray for T at The What IF Cross.  She gave birth to the adorable Magdalene Agnes on December 10th! Praise God!  My prayer life took a hit with travel, family obligations and the general busy-ness of the season.  So, my work was offered up for her intentions.  I offered up tasks and worry many times a day and thought about her all the time.  T- you will continue to be close to my heart!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Controlled Chaos

Thank you all for your prayers for my mom.  After three days in the hospital, she was released.  She's on medication and she can still take her chemo drugs. That was my biggest fear.  One of her chemo drugs can affect the heart and I was so afraid they would discontinue the medication.  The medication she's on (Tykerb) was made specifically for the type of cancer she has and she has a very aggressive form of breast cancer.  Knowing she's on this medication is a great comfort.  It was very, very hard being so far away from both of them and having my 70 year old father have to deal with this all on his own.  My mom became very agitated at certain points (very unusual for her) and there was a scare that she had a hole in her heart (it was a shadow on the echocardiogram).

We tried to make the best of the trip even though the whole point was to all be together for the holidays.  My sis and I had lots of time to talk and hang out and make healthy food.  She's recently became a vegan so it was very complimentary to the anti-inflammatory diet.  On top of everything, my niece was sick the whole time we were there so we didn't go anywhere except to church twice.  I almost forgot about the Holy Day in the midst of worry!

Preparing for the trip took much of my weekends leading up to it so I'm not very well prepared for Christmas which we are hosting.  Then, there's always work and the busy-ness in a school leading up to break.  We've done lots of crafts, Polar Express Day, dipping Oreos in chocolate (VERY anti-inflammatory-HA), secret santa, a holiday breakfast, and two big projects AJ had due for school.  The house isn't all the way decorated or straightened or cleaned.  AJ threw up today all over the living room.  At least that floor is clean now!  And, the gifts aren't all shopped for or wrapped.  Thank goodness we have a small house and a small family.  It makes decorating and shopping a bit easier.  I kind of just took the day off yesterday and did basically nothing.  I'm not sure if it was laziness creeping in or if I was giving my body some rest in the midst of the season.  Probably a little of both.

This post is all over the place.  Basically, I'm writing it so I can find comfort in all that's been done already, find fortitude for what's left to do, and keep the real reason for the season in the forefront of our preparations.

While I work, I'm going to light a candle and put on Jeff Cavins Great Adventure Bible Study CDs.  I have the 8 week series and it's perfect to listen to at Christmas because it builds up to Christ's birth.

All my work and worry is offered up for my dear prayer buddy.

Dear Jesus, help me remember that when I prepare for our guests, I am preparing for you to enter our home.  When I cook the food, it is to feed you.  When I clean and decorate it's so you have a beautiful place to sit and enjoy the love of a family.  And that the greatest gift I can give my family is a still, peaceful, gentle heart so that I may reflect God's love.  

God Bless you, my friends!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Prayers and Leibster

Can you please, please pray for my mom, Judi?  It looks like she's going to be okay, but she's been in the hospital for 2 days due to an irregular heartbeat.  She's completely stable.  They are running many tests and there was a scare today because the echocardiogram showed a hole in her heart.  They did another more invasive test (esophagial echocardiogram) that showed it wasn't a hole, it was just a shadow.  My mom's health isn't great since she's on chemo for recurrent breast cancer.  I just wish she could be home.  What sucks, too, is that my parents were supposed to be in Seattle visiting my sister with AJ and I.  They admitted her the day before we were to leave and my parents insisted AJ and I still go.  So, here my sister and I are, in Seattle, worried and wishing we were in Chicago.  My poor dad has been dealing with this by himself for three days.  Mother Mary, pray for my dear, sweet mother and my loyal, loving father. 

I've been so busy preparing for the trip (sub plans, christmas shopping, craft making) that I haven't been able to acknowledge the Liebster award that Alive in Hope bestowed upon this bad, bad blogger.  Thank you Alive in Hope, you always cheer me up with your effervescent posts!  Part of the deal with the Leibster is that you have to award 5 other blogs with under 200 followers.

Upon receipt of the Liebster Blog Award, there are a few very simple rules

1)  Copy and paste the award to your blog.
2)  Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
3)  Reveal your top 5 blog picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
4)  Hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

Here are some of my favs, in no particular order:

1. What if God Says No- I love Donna's quiet, steadfast faith.

2.  Sew Infertile- I can't see if she as more than 200 followers.  Sew's open book policy about her hormones have taught me so much about my own!  And, she's got great, great news!

3.  Abigail's Alcove- Abigail's strong faith and willingness to share it lifts me up with every post.

4.  Be Not Afraid- I can't wait to hear what adventures await this sweet family!

5.  Catholic Mutt- Love her pics and her thinking.

And, every single person on my side bar.  You are my heroes, my mentors, my role models.  I love you and pray for you every single day.