Friday, January 31, 2014
Oh, so much has happened in the last year.
I got engaged.
I had a major health crisis that scared the poop out of me.
I got married.
I bought a house with My Love.
I became a stepmom to a wonderful 6 year old boy.
And now, I'm living the life of a part-time mom, wife, homeowner, and music therapist.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
I'm going to share a little of my crazy with you.
Oh, you know we ALL have a little bit of crazy in each of us. If you deny this fact then you are even crazier than I am.
I have TOO MANY CLOTHES.
Until now, I don't think I ever realized how many clothes I actually own. For years, I would buy pretty clothes that went straight into storage. I know, crazy, right? (I warned you.) You see, when my engagement was broken a little over nine and a half years ago, I was in a bad place. Depressed, irrational, hurt, broken, sad...all of these things. But most of all, I was fearful of being hurt that badly again.
I like fashion. I like dressing up like a girly girl. If you have known me in the past 10 years, you would probably not have guessed that in eleventy billion years. Yet, in those years (yes, years) of darkness in my life, I was so afraid that I hid myself. I wore the most dumpy, least attractive clothing possible. I would not wear make up or even cut my hair for months. Oh, but I still bought super cute clothes and lip gloss in a rainbow of colors. They just went straight into boxes and storage. I would look at them once in a while, but I didn't dare wear anything so flashy out and about. It might attract someone whom I would fall in love with and allow them to break my heart once again. I really think being okay with my weight gain and frumpy, drab attire was like a castle wall around my heart. If anything, it was a purposeful barrier that I created to protect myself.
Only now, years later, have I finally opened up every single box of storage clothes and I am going through every piece of clothing I own. Yes, I have cute skirts that I bought 7 years ago that still have the tags on them. Some fit, some don't. Some are still classic and in style, some really are not! The point is that the barrier is down. The castle wall has been breached. My body is not perfect, but I am enjoying dressing cute, girly, sexy, and professional pretty frequently. I am getting noticed. I am getting compliments at work and beyond. And what am I saying to this attention? I'm trying my darnedest to take the compliments in stride and saying: Thank you.
But I seriously need another closet or something.
And, if my personal appearance was my castle wall, my home is my castle moat.
I did mention crazy, right? Right.
I moved to my first apartment (after my internship in Ohio...I don't count 2 months in an apartment a home) after the dark period in my life began. I have never kept a neat home. My home is my moat, an extra level of protection from getting hurt. I know this sounds insane, but hang in there.
I purposely left my house a mess so that I felt I couldn't invite anyone over. If no one came over, then I couldn't make memories with them in my private, sacred, homey space. Extra things started to pile up, and lo and behold, at times my home looked like an episode of hoarders (I mean, think about the clothes alone!). I hated it, but I would get overwhelmed and couldn't get past it. Well, my moat is draining. I think the fact that it totally annoys me and I spend my free time trying to get it all together and looking amazing again is a big step. An even bigger step is allowing my current boyfriend to come over...in the midst of the organizing and change. It completely worries me that he has seen my crazy. He sits with me in the living room and looks directly at it (one should really shield their eyes from such things, like the Ark in Raiders). Yet, he still calls me and comes over. I really don't get it, but it makes me feel more normal than insane. Yay for sanity.
Personally, I think these things are true for more people than I think. However, I feel blessed to have the insight to recognize what the heck is going on in my heart and brain and move past it. Praise God for having this insight and contemplative nature! Whoever shares with me in my life at this point is in for a real treat. I'm striving everyday to be a better person than the previous day - and it seems to be working. It just gets more awesome from here...
Well, I'm back to going through piles and piles of clothes.
What does your crazy look like?
Friday, August 3, 2012
Within the past year and a half, I began to rethink my "must haves" for a potential spouse. You know what I'm talking about...the mega-list that a girl will make that includes all the qualities of her future spouse. I'm talking lines and lines of qualities that no man could possibly live up to. It's idealistic and unreasonable, but when you make it you don't realize how crazy it really is.
I really spent a lot of time contemplating and creating this new list. I tried to make it with attainable goals and only 5 points. Very important points. When I finished it, I realized why all my relationships did not work out. NO ONE (even my ex-fiance) would have gotten a "check" for all five points. And NO ONE has ever gotten a check for my number five. Or really, if I am completely honest with myself, NO ONE has gotten a check for my number four as well.
Yes, I still think number four and five are attainable. In fact, they are probably two of the most important points.
So, without further ado, I present my "five things."
1. He makes me happy to the point my friends comment on how happy I am.
2. He is a Christian and we feel comfortable praying with/for each other.
3. He is open to having children, if God so desires to bless us with such a gift.
4. I feel comfortable being my authentic self with him (I trust him). He likes me because (despite) of my quirks.
5. The way he treats me reminds me of how my Dad treats my Mom and how my Grandad treated my Gramma.
What do you think of my list? Do you have things that are "must haves" for a potential future spouse?
Sunday, July 29, 2012
I have been very private about my vocational discernment the last several years. Even my closest friends do not know the inner dialogue of my heart. Only my Lord knows the give and take when it comes to this. So believe me when this post is "kinda a big deal..."
Before I was Catholic, I thought vocation meant finding a career. However, within the Church, vocation has an entirely different meaning. When you are Catholic, discerning your vocation means you are considering God's will and intent for your life. There are definite choices:
*Religious Life (Men's or Women's religious communities - sisters, brothers, nuns, monks...)
I remember the first time someone asked me the "vocation" question. It was in 1998, not long after I went to my first Mass (see my conversion story tab). I was at my boyfriend's mom's after funeral gathering at the family house (his mom died of cancer about 6 weeks after we started dating). There was a priest in the basement. I had never really spoken or interacted with a priest before. He asked me my name and then immediately asked me, "Hey! Have you ever thought about becoming a nun?" That moment was awkward, at best. It was more shocking, to be honest. In all my life, no one had ever just so bluntly asked me such a question. My answer? "I'm not Catholic." His response? "Well, have you thought about becoming Catholic?" My answer? A shy smile and nervous laughter. I would later learn that not only was this priest a close family friend of my boyfriend's family, but also the St. Louis Archdiocese Director of Vocations. So, his questions made more sense in context, but that conversation stuck with me. I mean, I *did* become Catholic two years after that conversation. Was the other part to come true as well?
I never really questioned my vocation until my engagement was broken. But then again, when I became Catholic, I was with my boyfriend of two years. In the midst of heartache and pain, I wondered the big question of "why." I would go back and forth for years, questioning where I belonged, and often longing to hide myself in the concealment of a religious cloister so I would no longer have to worry about someone breaking my fragile heart. I would pray for God to give me the discipline necessary for such a life, but nothing really changed. I also knew I was looking at a religious vocation as a way to run away from my hurt - not really the best idea. Ever.
I tried for years to live in my own cloister, in a way. My bestie commented that I would keep myself busy with extra duties so I didn't have "time" to date or find a husband. This is very true. I would make excuses why I wasn't compatible with certain men. I wasn't feeling a spark with anyone, and so I continued to question my vocation.
In the past two years, I gave up on the possibility of a religious vocation. I figured it would have happened by now if it was going to happen. Of course, I thought the same thing about married life. I'm currently 33 for goodness sake. This was not my plan. So, I started to consider the possibility that I would be one of those women who would be single for the rest of their life. But surely this was not God's plan for me, I would pray! The thought of singlehood for the rest of my life brings sadness to my heart. And, I remembered a moment that I had shut out of my mind years ago...
Years ago, when I was still with my boyfriend mentioned above, I babysat for a good friend, Kathie, several times a week. Most of the babysitting time was when her daughter was 4-8 months old. Madeline was one of the sweetest, cutest babies I had ever had the pleasure of meeting. I remember babysitting her one day, and I was laying on the couch and she was crawling on top of me. She rested on my chest and fell asleep on me. This angel, sleeping on my heart, brought me to tears. In that moment, I knew I was meant to be a mother, a wife, a minister of the family. Thinking about it now I still get choked up.
But I shut that image out. The thought that it might not happen for me clawed at my heart.
But, a few months ago when I remembered that image while I was talking with a friend, I began to hope again. I began to trust again. And, I became more aware of every opportunity God placed in front of me.
I am hopeful again that my person will find me, or has already found/met me. I honestly don't know at this moment in time. What I do know is that I pray for my future spouse every single day. I have for years. I must admit that whoever that lucky future spouse is, he has years of prayer backing him up in our future endeavors. I must trust in that! It may not be easy, but it will be full of prayer, thanksgiving, and hope.
Monday, July 23, 2012
So, things have been happening this summer and I haven't been blogging. This summer has continued to surprise me. Over and over again.
I did not in a bazillion years think that I would have an amazing summer of romance.
I did not think I would be dating three men at once.
I did not think that dating the man I had been pining over for a decade would be such a disappointment.
And, I did not think that the one I was most reluctant to date would be the one I would leave the rest in the dust for.
I did not think someone would be calling me his girlfriend before the end of July. Yet, that has happened, too.
.....and wrapped up in one big ball of emotion.
It's been 20 days since he first kissed me, and I am (as my knitting friends said at knit nite) beaming. I have no idea what tomorrow brings, but I am trying my darnedest to live in the moment and enjoy this unexpected blessing.
The quote in picture I posted sort of explains what happened. He keeps asking me why I started flirting with him one evening during conversation after we had been hanging out for months just as friends.
I have no answer.
It just happened.
I opened my heart just a crack? I took down just one more brick that I had used to build a wall years ago? I trusted that God had me in that moment for a reason?
I joke that it was the heat of the outdoor patio at night, or the fireworks peeking through the trees or the three bottles of beer I consumed...
But Baby, if you are reading this, it was not the heat or the fireworks or even the beer.
It was just you.
Friday, June 8, 2012
|Jefferson Barracks Park|
Today was one of those days that I felt truly alive!
These types of days have been surfacing less and less each year. I want every day to be like today!
First, I needed to drop something off at a friend's house this morning, so I set my alarm for 3:30 a.m. Shockingly, I hopped right out of bed and got the errand done. I then drove to South St. Louis County to my favorite park, Jefferson Barracks Park, to walk the trail. The weather was beautiful, and I even jogged some of the trail. During my entire walking time, I prayed the Rosary with the Sorrowful Mysteries and then the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I think this is such a better choice for me than simply listening to music while I walk. I want to go back and do this again in the morning tomorrow, but I really need to find a good walking park closer to home.
On my walk I saw a bunch of deer (and no bobcats or bears, thank goodness!).
I was feeling good when my walk ended at 8am. I didn't feel like driving home in morning rush hour, so I took back roads and took a nice drive. Windows open, music blasting. It was amazing! I stopped to get some breakfast and then drove some more. This time, I had my roof and all the windows open, my car stereo on max (it's a miracle I didn't blow a speaker), and I even took my shirt off (oh yes I did!). Well, I was wearing a sports bra, but I had never done that before! I thought, why the hell not?! I wanted to get a little sun on my skin, and taking the shirt off would do it.
When I got home from driving for 3 hours, (!), I took a 3 hour nap before going into work. A coworker commented that I looked like I was glowing. Yes. Yes, I was.
A glorious day in the midst of some crazy this week. What an absolute blessing! I hope tomorrow provides at least a moment that is like today.
Thank you, God, for today!
Thursday, June 7, 2012
It is a rare occasion for me to stay up through the wee hours of the morning reading a book. These wonderful occasions have typically been reserved for captivating, cliffhanger reads including R. L. Stine, Harry Potter and Twilight. Yet, this wonderful book sale find of 50 cents was read within 4 days time (with only 3 days of actual reading!). I couldn't put it down.
I wasn't even going to purchase this book. It doesn't look like anything special. On the back cover I read one sentence about a healing, and I decided to take a chance. I was mainly impressed because the book was signed and dated by the author...for 50 cents? My nerderific bibliophile self was intrigued.
This memoir was engaging and so interesting! I loved reading every moment of it. I laughed. I cried. I prayed along. I stopped to reflect on my own life.
I honestly believe that I was supposed to read this book. I was surprised to read about her studying at Maryville College in St. Louis (where I received 2 of my own degrees) and her work with special education (which I also do). God spoke to me in a way in this little unassuming book that changed my life.
Read this book.
I will let you borrow my copy.
I plan to share this with all of my friends.