Dating my Husband & What I Wore Sunday #wiws

2015-03-15 12.53.36(California trip, March 2015)

Two nights ago night I took a tally of the fun we encountered on our date. It looked like this:

Transformers, 140 minutes long

138 minutes left in movie. Child wakes up. 10 minutes paused.

120 minutes left. Child comes up and tries to snuggle in to watch with us. 15 minutes paused.

112 minutes left. Child comes up and does similar action. 10 minutes paused

106 minutes left. Child gets halfway up stairs before we intervene. 10 minutes paused.

96 minutes left. Child gets up yet again.

It is now 11pm and we are done for the night.

Having in-home dates is definitely a cheap option for a tight budget, but it also comes with its own price.

Andy and I can’t afford to go outside of the home for many dates in a year. Our net household income is about $30-35,000, and a good portion of that goes into food and housing. As a family, we have made our priorities, and dates at home is what is on our menu.

We used to have a “date night” and I’ll be honest, sometimes it really sucked. This was because the kids, on this particular night, often would have an off-night. Then the whole evening would end up dedicated to bringing them back downstairs, tucking them in, maybe staying to make sure they go back to sleep, then finally emerging back to pick up where we left off. A rather frustrating endeavour, and can make a movie take at least twice as long, let alone any other activities.

2015-03-08 11.22.38(Troublemaker #2)

Andy and I came up with a solution. At least temporarily it seems to be helping. We now aim to have mini-date nights nearly every night that he is home. Sundays we do something extra special, but the rest of the time (when he’s not doing evening programs) we try to take on the “date night” atmosphere. It has definitely helped relieve the “we only have this one chance once a week” stress that apparently had been building in me. If we don’t finish a movie, the opportunity is really only 1-2 days away now rather than a week.

IMG_5700(Troublemaker #1)

While I love my little munchkins completely and utterly, they take up a lot of time that used to be used leisurely with my husband. Poll any number of parents with young families and the phrase “leisure time” when referring to any part of the week might mean getting a shower in and spending a little extra time letting the water run cold, or perhaps using nap time to desperately check and recheck Facebook and Twitter in an effort to gain the little bit of adult interaction that is feasible with a baby who naps best at home. Leisure time for young families is completely different than the way I used to define it, and it means that it is harder for Andy and I to find time together where we get to reconnect.

IMG_5568(Troublemaker #3)

Having only one night a week wasn’t enough for our relationship, especially me. My love language is quality time, so I truly need dedicated connection time to feel loved.

This way I don’t feel animosity towards my kids when they keep waking up and disturbing our date night. It might take us 3 solid nights to finish Wolverine, but we will get there (true story). And as my mother always told me, “patience is a virtue.” Truly, being parents of young kids provides ample opportunities to practice this virtue. In the meantime, we’ll figure out some work-arounds to help make things go a little smoother in our house.

whatiwore

2015-04-18 18.34.19 I’m thrilled with some items I recently purchased at Once Upon a Child. Spencer and Felicity’s items are from there (I am loooooving Spencer’s cute sports jacket!). Cassia’s is a hand me down. Mine are from Reitmans.

Here we are in our Sunday finest. Well, the kids especially so. It has been windy as anything here today, and we spent most of the day outside yesterday in the blustery wind trying to organise our yard and do a little landscaping.

That hairband did a number on Felicity’s fringe, though. Soo not the wind’s fault.

2015-04-18 18.52.31 2015-04-18 18.52.55But she’s happy. And really, that’s what matters right now.

To check out more What I Wore, head over to Fine Linen and Purple‘s link up!

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Being Catholic.

I was baptized a Catholic when I was a baby. I grew up going to church and attended Catholic schools. It would be ridiculous at this stage to say that I am still Catholic only for these reasons; it would indicate some type of immaturity on my part, as it would say that I have accepted this faith on other people’s assumptions of it and on traditions. While these things contributed to my remaining Catholic, they are not the reason for it. And contrary to what some people assume, reason actually has a lot to do with it (along with logic, research, and the gift of faith).

Once I entered high school I became supported by a number of adults who carried the gift of faith proudly. I feel that I can really pinpoint the change in myself, in taking on the faith through my own choosing, during my high school years in large part due to these adults who had no problems sharing their faith with me, evangelizing me and giving me the opportunity to explore faith and Jesus.

I’d love to have a story in which there was a significant moment in which everything made sense and when I made a final and devout commitment to Christ and the Catholic faith. As some would say, to have a Paul conversion experience:

Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ He asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.’ The men who were travelling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ He answered, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ The Lord said to him, ‘Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.’ But Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.’ So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Acts 9: 1-19.

In fact, my experience resembled nothing like this at all (but it sure is dramatic!). And thankfully this isn’t the only experience in Scriptures I can relate my own conversion to. No, my example resembles that of blundering, mistaken-filled, confused Peter. As Jesus would say to him on occasion:

“You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31.

Jesus_on_Water___Peter“Are you also still without understanding?” Matthew 15:16.

“Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Matthew 16:23.

behind me satanPeter: Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.
Jesus: …
Matthew 17:4.

Transfiguration_ofThese are just a few examples I can totally relate to. And just from one Gospel (though except for John, they do mostly cross-reference). Thankfully Peter’s experience doesn’t end on these notes. He may have continued to be a little confused, made some blunders (had a major dispute with Paul in which he was wrong), but he is most definitely on fire for Jesus after the resurrection, as the letters following the gospels tell us.

This is really how I felt high school was for me – blundering and confusing in my faith, but still on fire in my relationship with Jesus. One of my high school youth ministers, Sr. Sheila, planted the seed in me of studying theology after high school. She probably thought the seed would remain dormant (or didn’t realise she had planted one), but after several years it emerged again and firmly took root when I was deciding what do to after completing my Culinary Arts certificate. After some deliberation, I started my theological studies at Newman Theological College.

This was definitely an interesting turn of events. It took my blundering and confused (but still zealous!) faith and threw it in the fire. I watched it burn. I felt like I was burning with it. Analogously, I was, and so was my faith. It was being refined, as gold is refined in fire. All the questionable things I believed were being either burned or cleansed to reflect what the Catholic faith in Christ Jesus truly believes. It was a hard process, because not only was I having to redefine my perspective on faith, but I was being marked on it (double-whammy!). But I survived. My understanding of what constitutes my faith and why it is this way became much more clear than it had been before (though as any theologian would say, the more you learn, the more you realise you will never fully understand). I am a far stretch from perfectly understanding my faith. Even the saints do not claim such lofty goals. But I can proclaim the Gospel undimmed and even know a little bit about it now.

My conversion is not complete. I will be continuing this journey for the rest of my life, but I have learned enough to know that, through God’s gift of faith to me, I can joyously continue to choose this life every day. I am thankful that I had the great opportunity to truly learn my faith so that I am not trying to reason with problems or situations with only a high schooler’s grasp of Christianity (which is ultimately, an immature grasp due to the nature of adolescent growth). If that were the case, I’m not sure if I would have easily continued in my faith. I have found that there is so much complexity in life and in faith that having a group of people versed in our faith to support and enter into dialogue with about issues and problems has become a necessity for me. Faith by oneself is not faith. It is rather a view that looks upon oneself as the answer (as I realised at a point in my own conversion). I need my community to know God and to know Jesus, lest I end up in a vacuum. Faith cannot be separated from community and community is needed to understand our relationship with God. I find solace in this – my community is not perfect, but it is striving to be at one with God. I fit in perfectly with that image – I am not perfect, but I am striving to be in good relationship with my God.

So while many people have great testimonies that are full of zeal and drama (and I love hearing them), I fit in closest with the “dumb but learning” crowd. I don’t take too many leafs from St. Paul, but perhaps one day I will. If I don’t, I feel like I’m still in good company and until then, I’ll continue rejoicing in the resurrection of Christ Jesus and his invitation to me to have life, and have life to the full.

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What I Wore Sunday #wiws

whatiworeHappy Easter day! To end such an epic Octave, I actually managed to get Andy to take a photo of myself with el kiddos.

IMG_5691Our of all the pictures we took, Spencer kept the same face through it, unbeknownst to us. And I have no idea what Cassia’s trying to convey…something between disgust and a smile? And after this we cut off all of Spencer’s hair.

On me:
epic cheap-pack socks (I wore boots, hence the I-don’t-care socks)
dress: Reitmans
sweater: Motherhood Maternity (though the sweater has no maternity value to it whatsoever)
fascinator: gift from a friend
all kids clothes: Once Upon a Child or hand-me-downs from friends

2015-03-09 15.27.11 It’s been busy with sickness and holy week and recovering from both, but we’re almost back on our feet here. Hope you had an amazing Easter and a lovely Octave!

Join in on the fun with What I Wore Sunday at Fine Linen and Purple!

2015-03-16 16.21.202015-03-10 08.14.24IMG_5683

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The Garden

Let’s be clear. This is not the Garden of Eden. That would be…wait for it…HEAVENLY! Yes, I’m a dork and I think I’m hilarious. So let’s move on.

It is a garden that has never been started so early in the year, though. Which is exciting in many respects. At the rate of our weather I am looking to be planting outside a full month and a half earlier than last year! In our climate this is beyond crazy, I tell you. Planting in mid-April?! Yes, dear friends, this year is the year, it would seem.

Unfortunately, we will likely be gone for most of August so anything that takes lots of watering and/or harvesting during that month is not on the menu this year (read: beloved tomatoes & basil). Go figure.

However, this is a list of the items we are pre-germinating this year: 2015-03-28 21.30.59

Just some of the joys to come, barring my non-green thumb. Happy spring!

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Time for God

2012.05.20cI wrote a short Lenten reflection on the Gospel for today (John 2:13-25) for Mike at I Am Third. Head over there for a short time of prayer for Lent today! Mike is offering a great daily source of prayer on his website for Lent – be sure to take advantage of it!

The readings for today can be found at the USCCB website.

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