Boomers, We’re Listening. Love, Millennials

The more I experience life as a wife, mother, sister, friend, and professional, the more I realize I’m clueless. Really clueless. As in, everything I thought I knew – and I thought I knew a lot – is challenged on a daily basis and I rediscover, for the umpteenth time, that when it comes to life experience, I’m a noob.

Growing up, I was the kid that wanted to sit with the adults and talk while my cousins rolled down hillsides and played with bubbles outside. I’ve long preferred the company of older, wiser adults to the company of peers. Even as an adult, I gravitate towards reading blogs and following social media streams of wives and moms who are older than me and further along their paths of marriage and family. I love to see their challenges and learn how they have grown from them, emotionally and spiritually. To see how they have navigated life crises and struggles, and hopefully learn from them as I encounter similiar waters in the not-so-distant future.

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Restore. Renew. Revive.

I’m weary, y’all.

The last time I posted was December 11, a mere two weeks before Christmas, and five days after learning we {happily} are expecting our fifth kiddo.

During the past several weeks, I’ve been overwhelmed with liturgical celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, separation from family over holidays, a life-threatening incident with dear friends of ours, the beginning of a new college semester, tensions in my oil-industry employment, the prospect of an upcoming move, planning my sister’s wedding, a lingering cold, and of course, first-trimester wrapping all of the chaos in a cozy blanket.

So…yeah. Weary.

For the past two years during Lent, my internet friend Elizabeth Foss has offered an online workshop for weary women called “Restore.” With Danielle Bean, Elizabeth co-wrote my favorite devotional, Small Steps for Catholic Moms. Elizabeth’s writing is calm, peaceful, and sprinkled with the wisdom of a woman with nine children who has been mothering for almost 30 years. Her posts on family life helped saved my marriage when Superman and I struggled with reintegration following deployment.  I have wanted to participate in the Restore workshop each time it’s been offered, especially the year my hormones were abnormal and affecting every breath I took. I felt so completely oppressed. I watched longingly as other women on social media, most with far more crushing life circumstances than mine, commented and photographed their experiences with the program. Elizabeth integrates prayer, reflection, and daily creativity-stimulating activities to administer a healing balm to souls. I know the program works, because I saw friends like Bobbi find their way out of burned-out chaos into the beauty of New Life in the springtime of their souls. Elizabeth talks a bit more about the workshop here: Video from Elizabeth on Restore

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Stuck at Work for the Holidays

Have to work on a holiday

 

“Oh there’s noooooo place like wooooorrrrrrrk for the holidays…”

Wait.  That’s not how the song goes…

It can be difficult enough as a working mom to occasionally (or always!) deal with feelings of guilt and disappointment when dropping a child off at daycare or missing out on a poetry recitation at school, but these heart-wrenching emotions only intensify when that mom finds she is scheduled to work on a holiday or Holy Day.

Over the course of my working adult life, I’ve spent time in the retail and healthcare industries. Both are notorious for scheduling staff ’round the holiday clock. Granted, I think we all want there to be docs and nurses available if we have to rush a sick child to the ER on Christmas Day, but I’d be willing to bet a few of those folks are somewhat preoccupied by their waiting families at home – and with good reason. As for retail, REI made headlines this year when they announced they’d be closed on Black Friday. I’m not going to lie, this is a trend I hope will gather some major steam in the coming years. In the meantime, here are a few techniques I’ve picked up through working through the most special times of year – like that Good Friday four years ago where I spent the day at work fuming about missing the 3pm Veneration of the Cross. (I really identified that day with Christ’s lament, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do [by making me work today.]” I mayormaynot be paraphrasing.) Continue reading

Running On Empty

I’m the kind of girl who plays Russian roulette with her gas tank. You know what I’m talking about, right? The game where you try to see how far you can go before your gas actually runs out, versus what that silly pessimistic needle tries to make you believe? It drives my husband – a very Type A, methodical, former soldier – batty. I will admit that on more than one occasion, we’ve had a spirited “chat” when he’s gotten in the car to go somewhere (running late, of course, because kids) and the needle isn’t just AT Empty, it’s BELOW Empty. I will also concede that it’s more than a little inconsiderate on my part, too. Almost always, my deviant behavior stems from the overwhelming desire when I’m in my car to just get HOME ALREADY, be it from work, the grocery store, or soccer practice.  I despise adding one more stop on the way home.  It’s not that I don’t believe the needle; it’s more like I believe I am smarter than the needle.  I’m well aware of the fact that without fuel, my minivan ain’t getting’ anywhere, no matter how many Rosary bumper stickers are plastered on the backside. In all the years I’ve been driving, the needle has only outsmarted me once.

Until last week.
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#Edel15 – A {Rather Lengthy} Recap

#edel15

After I attended the Edel Gathering last year, I came home and shared how I felt like the shy girl surrounded by over 200 of her best girlfriends, many of whom were her blogging heroes. So many beautiful women, connected by a sense of community grounded in faith and the beauty of womanhood, touched my heart that weekend and invigorated my soul to face the everyday drudgery that often plagues me. The weekend of fellowship, heartfelt connection, and laughter was a balm that would never be replicated.

I was right. It couldn’t be replicated. As it turns out, though, it could be improved upon.  The reunion with old friends and the genesis of new friendships made this year’s experience  more enriching than the last.  Color me stunned.
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