Monday, June 14, 2010


I'm taking a break from cleaning my downstairs.  I've been cleaning, organizing, decluttering, decorating, and rearranging my home (mainly my office) this afternoon/evening.  I tend to be the person that if I muster up the motivation to work on something, I'm pretty focused.  I might just stay up the better part of the evening working on the project because, well, I can!  It's summer, and the only plans I have tomorrow is to be home and await the arrival of my new deep freezer (which I'm totally stoked about).

I finally hung my framed MMT diploma in my office...I figured it would probably be a good idea to hang it before I get my next master's degree.  Ha!  I have this interesting "wall of fame" thing going on in my office.  I didn't mean for it to happen, really, but I have my 2 diplomas, CBMT certificate, grant award, and AMTA award hanging on the wall.  I feel like it's a shrine to me or something, so in order to balance it out I hung a couple of rosaries on the frames.  :)

I've also decided I have WAAAAY too much work/music therapy "stuff."  It's bad.  I'm looking in my closet at the moment and I see 3 acoustic guitars (one belongs to work), 1 electric guitar, 1 bass guitar, and 1 child size acoustic guitar.  That's 6 guitars, folks!  I resorted to hanging my frame drums on my wall above my piano in order to store them more efficiently!  It does look kinda cool, however. :)  The bad part is that I really need the closet space for, well, clothes and such!  I am at the point where I may need to make my downstairs bathroom into a storage closet.  In fact, I kinda wish it *was* a closet instead of a bathroom!  lol.  Where in the world is all my crafting stuff going to go?  :-/

Anyway, as I frequently mention, I'm on summer break from work for the first time ever.  Yay.  I think I've finally realized how incredibly stressed I am during the school year.  I cannot remember the last time I felt this centered and healthy.  My body is showing me, in many different ways, how great this break thing is.  I'm not sure I will ever work ESY again unless I honestly need the extra money.  And because of this new found less-stressed-Mary, I'm actually enjoying domestic duties!  You heard it, and no, Hell did not just freeze over.  I'm enjoying the cleaning!  I can't wait until my new vacuum arrives and I can start really deep cleaning the place (along with being introduced to my newest purchase, the Magic Eraser).

I really, honestly, think that since I have been told my ENTIRE life that I am awful at being domestic, I believed it.  Well, maybe I'm not so great when I'm so stressed and busy that I can barely find time to shower.  However, I think I'm actually good at cleaning, cooking, etc.  And, I'm proving it to myself this week.  I'm very excited to get everything in order.  I've moved so many times in the past few years that last week I found boxes that were packed in a 2005 move that had never been gone through.  Seriously??!!  I really feel this summer break is the best decision I've made in years and years.  Plus, I'm finally excited about decorating the entire home.  Most rooms don't have anything on the walls yet (and I've lived here since January 2009).  I know, I know...  It's time!

Monday, May 31, 2010


This morning I re-potted all my tomato plants (9 total), staked them, and tied them up.  I cleaned out half of my car as well, which is a huge accomplishment.  As the work year goes on, I collect more and more stuff in my car.  It jingles less now, but there is still much to carry inside.  Then I drove to my parent's house and worked for 7 hours in my parent's basement getting ready for the big garage sale.  I am exhausted!!!  But, my sister and I found some interesting things in the basement...some of which will be on the garage sale!  Take a peek...

First, I found this cool spiral notebook.  The smurf pictured and the message on this notebook seemed to be a good theme for my adventures in basementland today.

Then I found this autograph.  Yep, that is Trent Green, NFL star.  But wait...this autograph is from when he was still in college!  On the other side of this paper is his fiancee's signature.  His mom worked at my elementary school as a recess aide.  :) 

Then I found these two gems!  New Kids On the Block sheets (never opened, MINT condition), and my NKOTB cap with signatures.  I'm also getting rid of all my NKOTB cassette tapes...which is a hard thing to do.  They were such a prized possession!  The florescent colors are blinding on this cap.  Look at your own risk.

Check it out!!!  I found my stash of Garbage Pail Kids trading cards!!!  These are being stored in a very secure location.  Hilarious!

We found a bunch of shrinky-dinks!  There were loads of My Little Pony, Rainbow Bright, and Cabbage Patch shrinky-dinks.  We're saving them...

And last, but not least, we keep finding these.  That's right, Tee-Ties!  The accessory for your T-shirt!  My favorite is the Batman shaped one pictured above which was mine.  Love it!  Used to wear these ALL the time. :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010


On Thursday, I met my sister and we ventured to Washington University in St. Louis together.  Katie just graduated with her certificate in Clinical Research Management from there, and she needed to pick up her certificate.  I think she really wanted me to go because she doesn't know her way around that area or campus...which is strange because she works at WashU and took classes there.  But, to her defense, she only works/studies on the Med Campus and we had to go to the main campus.  Anyway...I'm never comfortable anywhere standing in the middle of a sidewalk with a giant map outstretched trying to find where I am going.  And, that's just what happened.  Katie and I, standing in the middle of a WashU courtyard with a giant map looking all tourist-y.  But, we got her certificate and even ventured to the bookstore.

I wanted this cup, but Katie wouldn't buy it for me.  So sad...

But then, we went to the clearance section and I saw this:

I'm not sure if you can see it or not, but these mugs are speckled.  And, like any good music therapist, I start singing to my sister:  5 green and speckled mugs...sat on a ....  you get the picture.  She about left me in the store.  ;)

On Saturday, I started the ginormous task of helping my Mom start to weed out the family basement in the hope of getting rid of a bunch of junk at a garage sale or giving it away.  My parent's basement is crazy insane.  It's a miracle that I'm not on that show Horders.  Yes, a bunch of the junk is mine, and I'm trying to downsize by quite a bit.  The problem is that the majority of the stuff is work related.  UGH.  Children's books, file folder games, laminated stuff, random instruments, recorded music, old files, binders of MT info from college and grad just seems to go on and on.  Luckily, for most things I'm asking myself:  have you used this in the last year or two?  Will you use this in the next year?  Does this have some significant sentimental value?  Keep or pitch...

Here are some treasures I found on Saturday that will be on the sale table.  Get ready for this awesomeness.

That's right.  I found this VHS entitled, "Preparing for your wedding dance."  No one knows where it came from.  Apparently, it magically appeared in a box of junk.  Then there was this poster that was mine.  I call it my "Totally Minnie" poster. 

Yes, that is a late 80s, early 90s version of Mickey & Minnie.  Anyone else remember the TV movie entitled, Totally Minnie?  Released in 1988, my sister and I recorded it on VHS off of the TV when it aired.  I think I still have the whole thing memorized.  I loved it!  And when I watched the American Idol finale this past week (before the rediscovery of the prized poster), Janet Jackson's performance immediately reminded me of this:

And yes, in the next week or so I will probably watch Totally Minnie in it's entirety on YouTube. :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

stress. I searched for job openings.  [GASP!]  I know.  I have a great job where I make very decent money, but sometimes I wonder if the stress factor is worth it.

In January 2009, I started my current schooling to get special education teaching certification with a masters degree in teaching for one purpose:  in order to be able to do the next step - an administrative degree.  I thought, at the time, that being a principal or administrator was the path for me.  I'm not so sure anymore.

Salary wise, I'm currently at the top of my pay scale.  I've maxed out the educational salary increases to the point where I can only get a significant raise if I complete a doctoral degree.  The only other option for a raise is to move into an administrative position.  But do I really want to deal with that stress and job expectations?  I'm not sure.

I was on the Archdiocesan website today looking at educational positions that were open.  I found myself wanting to apply for a full time kindergarten teacher position or elementary grade...  I think moving to a position like that would make me really happy.  How cool would it be to continue to teach children, but also being able to pray with them?

Well, I know I can't take anything like that right now because, for one, I don't have my teaching certificate yet.  And two, I signed my contract for my current job already for the 2010-2011 school year.  Also, I'm pretty sure I would be taking a significant pay cut, and I'm unsure if I could make it work on just that one salary.

And, I realize I might just be burnt out at the moment.  Yet, I know my job isn't going to get any easier with increased caseload and job responsibilities.  Doing between 25-30 school building site visits for therapy sessions, assessments, and meetings each week just really takes a toll on my body, mind, and spirit.  Many times, I come home absolutely exhausted while remembering I have paperwork to complete in the evening.  Don't get me wrong, I'm ready to be exhausted if I teach in a classroom full time, but it will be different.  I really feel the traveling takes a lot out of me.

I'm surprised how happy the thought of teaching at a Christian/Catholic school makes me.  Could this be my dream job?  Could God have routed me in this direction by getting me into this teaching certification program?  I don't know, but I'm curious to see what the future holds!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


My summer vacation started yesterday at 3:30 pm CST!

I know it will probably go by quickly, but I sincerely need a break.  I was on the brink of serious burn out at work...I was starting to lose my patience with students (which rarely ever happens), and my creative mojo has been long gone for at least a week.  Luckily, I have the gift of being about to improvise simple vocal melodies over cool hip hop loops on GarageBand.  Easy electronic storybook turned into a visual enhanced musical podcast.  Woo! 

I haven't been blogging much lately because of work and school being so time consuming.  Many things have happened.  I just review several of my previous posts and wanted to share updates.  Get excited...

1.  I'm obsessed with Stargate Atlantis.  I saw the original Stargate movie when it came out in [eek] 1994-ish.  Loved it.  But I never got into the TV series.  Well, that has changed.  My geekdom hyperdrive is fully operational.  And...I found out that there are Stargate novels out summer reading list!

2.  Nothing happened with OTBG (outside the box guy).  We went on a Mass date and then to Bread Co...but it was awkward and strange.  We're friends on facebook...but I haven't spoken with him in weeks.  And I'm super okay with it. :)  I think I may need to put a nix on Mass dates...never work out in my favor.

3.  Did I mention I'm on summer break?

4.  TMJG (you really don't want to know what that stands for - guy) emailed me and asked me out...again.  [sigh]  I wrote him back a direct email and told him how utterly creeptastic he was on our date (in a nice, Christian way of course).  I said we could be friends if he really wanted to (maybe he just needs someone to pray for him?)...he said that would be great.  Haven't heard back.  DUUUUUUUH.  He was looking for a hookup and I could see it coming.  Bu-bye TMJG!  I won't miss you and your creeper-ness!

5.  Yesterday was great because it was my last day of work until August 13th, but it turned fantastic when I received an email from T.  He apologized for his contact being sporadic, and still wants to get together when he's back in the Lou.  He was writing from an internet cafe, which make me wonder where in the world he is located at the moment.  All I know is somewhere with a military base...  He should be back in St. Louis in a couple of weeks.

6.  I officially stepped out of my pilgrimage trip to Europe that should have been starting in about 10 days.  I thought I was going to have to work later into June, and I really just didn't have the extra funds.  Someday I will get to Lourdes, Fatima, and the like!  I'm sure there will be a more perfect trip sometime that includes a jaunt to Lisieux...

I will blog more in the near future.  <3

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I have started making my summer reading list and collecting books to read! The magic number is currently 8. For those of you who are not working for school districts and working a teacher school year, that means 8 whole work days left until a summer full of vacation! For me, this is a milestone. This is the first summer I have not elected to work summer school. Additionally, I'm not taking graduate classes either. I'm a little excited, if you can't tell! ;)

When I consider my reading preferences, I look at fantasy, suspense, biographies, self-help, and faith. Those are my biggies. I chose to begin my summer book search at Catholic Supply - the place I always spend way too much money. Here's my awesome collection so far:

"The Restless Heart" by Ronald Rolheiser

"Forgotten Among the Lilies" by Ronald Rolheiser

"Saint Gianna Molla: Wife, Mother, Doctor" by Molla & Guerriero

"The World's First Love: Mary, Mother of God" by Fulton J. Sheen

"Padre Pio: The True Story" by C. Bernard Ruffin

"Deus Caritas Est (God is Love)" by Benedict XVI

"Spe Salvi (Saved in Hope)" by Benedict XVI

I hope my list inspires you to read something...well...inspiring this summer!  I'm hoping I have time to read all of these plus some other great reads.  I guess I'll find out!  <3 

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I've had a few moments lately that I'd like to share.

I recently had a disappointing relationship revelation.

So, I began to pray.  I don't always pray the Rosary daily (I know...I know...), but I made it a priority along with a Novena to St. Therese of the Child Jesus.  But when the Novena had finished and he hadn't contacted me again, my heart sank.  Where is my moment?  Where is my happy ending?  I've cried many tears over broken relationships and being 31 and still single.  I suffer everyday knowing I'm called to be a wife, yet feeling not one step closer to fulfilling my vocational call.  I felt hopeful about the contact last weekend, but now I just feel despondent.

When I'm restless, stressed, or need to think, I usually take a drive.  Well, in the past month I think I've driven about 300 miles each weekend on a road to nowhere.  So last night, I started driving, in the rain, to try and calm my woeful thoughts.  It wasn't helping, so I drove to Holy Infant - my favorite local 24 hour Adoration chapel.  To my dismay, the doors were locked.  Of course, God helped me get inside!  Another adorer came up to me and asked if I knew the code.  Immediately I realized they had installed a lock in order to get in to see Jesus, which I understand for safety, but don't like the idea of.  She let me in after she found the code written on her checkbook.  I guess I looked non-threatening in Ballwin.  Well, I lit two candles, one by Holy Mary and one by St. Joseph, to pray for me and my future spouse (whomever he may be).  I sat in adoration, and per usual, I couldn't take my eyes off the Blessed Sacrament.  I cried.  My thoughts were going a mile a minute in my head to my Savior about what was going on in life, especially relationship wise.  Then all of a sudden I just relaxed physically.  My eyelids were heavy.  My thoughts went away.  I can't remember the last time I didn't have thoughts swarming around in my head...I couldn't move.  I felt like I was going to pass out (slain in the spirit, perhaps?), but with only one other (older) woman in the chapel with me, I forced myself to not let go completely (she already kinda glared at me when I was crying).  And after 45 minutes, I was a new person.  I had a moment.  Even on the drive home (30 minutes) I had no desire for music or the crazy thoughts buzzing through my brain.  I know this happens when I go pray before the Blessed Sacrament; I just wish I would stop fighting myself and realize God is the solution more times than not.

And then today there was a major storm in the St. Louis area.  I was awoken from my beautiful afternoon nap by tornado sirens blaring through my window.  After the storms passed, I went outside.  It was absolutely beautiful, so I took a drive.  I can't adequately describe how amazing the clouds were - fluffy, light, fast moving, low in the sky.  Then, all of a sudden, I had an urge to turn the radio on and on came the song "Jesus Calling" by 33 miles.  It was the end of the last chorus with a huge crescendo and the lyrics struck me so the same time, the sun started shining through the seemed brighter than anything I've seen in a long time.  I was just in awe.  I'm surprised that I was able to keep driving and didn't veer off the road because I was staring at the sky.  It was a moment.  I realized that God is in control, and sometimes I can't control what is happening around me.  When I accept that, I'm at peace.  I think *when* is the key word here...

Moments happen everyday.  I just have to remember to take a breath and notice them.  My little soul is so blessed and loved by my Lord.  Oh, my little, beautiful soul.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Health Care Reform and Catholicism

I heard this today, and I was speechless.  Apparently, in the health care reform bill recently passed by the U.S. House, there are religious exemptions.  Christian Scientist and Amish individuals are exempt from paying and purchasing healthcare insurance because it violates their religious beliefs.

So, what about me?  The bill provides taxpayer (me) dollars to pay for abortions.  As a Catholic, my faith dictates that abortion is a mortal sin.  In fact, it's MURDER.  I feel like my religious freedom is being stomped on!  How can you discriminate against other religions who also have seriously belief issues over this bill and allow others to be exempt?  Can the government do this legally?  I think NOT!

Besides all the other things in the bill that I find appauling (the cost, mandated health insurance purchase, the government having it's hand in 1/6 of the economy, the government controlling health care...this list could go on forever), I find the religious discrimination absolutely OUTRAGEOUS.  Why in the world did my pilgrim ancestors come over on the Mayflower if it was going to end up like this?

I am so livid.

The Right Way To Wait: Article

The Right Way To Wait: Article

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Sunday, March 21, 2010


It's 2:00 a.m. and I'm still awake.  Why?  Because I was talking online to "outside the box" [otb] guy.  I'm a little floored at how much I like talking to him, how easy it is, and how I'm not worried at all that the conversation will morph into a morally questionable situation.  Unlike tmj-guy, otb-guy seems to be trustworthy in that department.  Yay.  Now, I just have to make sure that I don't run away, make excuses, or flake out like I have in the past.  Encouragement, please!

We've been emailing for about a week, and he asked me what I was doing for Palm Sunday.  At first I thought, wait, is next week Palm Sunday already?  I have completely lost track of time, apparently.  He suggested we go to the Cathedral Basilica St. Louis to meet for the first time on Palm Sunday.  At first I resisted, mainly because he would be driving in from Rolla, MO, just to go to Mass with me.  I mean, that's about a 2 hour drive and a little ridiculous!!  But, he insisted!  How could I say no?  So, I said yes.  I have a Mass-date with otbg on Palm Sunday.

I'm a little nervous.  I mean, I'm not nervous at this point about meeting otbg at this point, which is interesting in itself.  Instead, I'm nervous about Mass.  I tend to experience Mass in a very emotional way, and I'm not sure how he might react to tears (or, let's be honest, sobbing) on a first meeting.  Maybe I could warn him in a gentle way?  I'll have to think/pray about it.  But I think I'm even more nervous about explaining the situation in depth if he asks.  We haven't gone too in depth with faith conversations yet, and I don't want to scare him off with my spiritual gifts.  But then again, if he's freaked out by it, he's not the guy for me. [sigh].

I'm already planning a day trip with him.  He's already invited me to meet his family when they are in town in April.  We seem to be making future plans when we haven't even met yet.  Usually my flight response kicks in right about now...yet I'm not running away.

I'm intrigued.  I wonder what will happen next.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Have you ever just grown apart from a friend that has been in your life for a long time?  I feel this has been happening to me for about a year now.

I feel guilty for not calling, getting bored when this friend tells me her current life drama, or passing on a night out because I don't want to see her make a fool out of her drunk self.  Yet, I feel like I'm growing up more while she stays the same.  Can two people just grow apart and it be okay?

I get frustrated with her.  She asks my advice, and I tell her the same things over and over.  She dismisses me or says she "can't" face certain problems.  I feel that all I can do for her now is pray.

It's weird to think about just letting someone go from your day to day life.  I'm not a person to have a lot of close friends.  I have about 5 close friends, and I often think I can't "afford" to let anyone go.  But if she's continually dragging me down and frustrating the heck out of me, is that an equal, healthy friendship?

I can honestly say at this point I don't miss talking with her on a regular basis.  It makes me sad, but it's true.  I guess sometimes people grow at different rates or in different directions.  Maybe we are just on different paths now.

Friday, February 12, 2010

healing waters

Today is the feast day for Our Lady of Lourdes.  Is it a coincidence that today is also the day I decided for sure that I am going to Europe this visit Lourdes?  I don't think so.  The movie "Lourdes" that just so happened to be on EWTN when I was looking at the guide.  And even though it wasn't the most well-made flick ever and it was entirely subtitled, I cried and loved it.  I also stumbled up the movie "The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima" complete on youtube.  Also amazing.  I cried, and I also found out it was nominated for an Oscar back in the day.  Anyway.


As you know, today was one week on the diet and detoxing from caffeine and soda.  I have only had water and milk in the past week.  It took a while to get used to it, but then I began to crave the water.  Well, today, as a reinforcer, I let myself eat chinese food for dinner with a regular coke.  Bad idea.  I knew I would feel sick, but I guess I just wanted to see if the food tasted as good when I wasn't craving it.  Well, it didn't.  In fact, I think I only ate about a quarter of my order before I was searching the house for a bottle of water.  And now I feel sickly and can't sleep because of the caffeine.  Wonderful.  So, drinking the water is helping to heal my body and make me physically healthier.

If simply drinking normal water can do this for my physically, what can the water of Lourdes do for me spiritually and emotionally (or even physically as well)?  I'm curious to know.

I'm still not sure why I feel like I should go on this pilgrimage.  I didn't even really know much about Fatima or Lourdes before researching it in the past two weeks.  But then again, that is how God works in me sometimes.  He puts something amazing on my heart or kicks me in the head.  But for some reason, I am feeling strongly called to go on this trip in June...and that is why I have decided to go.  Now, if only I could locate my's around here somewhere!

Although, I don't know why this should surprise me.  My devotion and relationship with Mary the Mother of God has deepened so much in the past year.  She is my spiritual Mother, and I ask her to pray for me more than ever before.  It really began with the women's retreat I went on last year at Our Sorrowful Mother's Ministry in Vandalia, Illinois, last year. 

Something really special happened at that retreat.  I feel that God spoke to me at that place and had two main messages.  The first one was:  fall before the Rosary.  Well, I had never really been that person who prayed the rosary daily.  I'd cycle through doing it for a week a couple times a year.  But here I am, about 10 months later, trying to pray the rosary daily, closer to Mary, and I own a small business designing and creating handmade rosaries!  I would have never guessed that in my wildest dreams!  And now I'm going to visit two of the most important Marian sites in the world?  What great plans does God have in store for me?  Why me?  Why such a little soul?  Who am I to even speak of Holy?  I'm just me.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I really don't know where to begin.  I haven't blogged in a while, and things have been happening.  Let's start with the fun, shall we?  Tonight I baked cookies for my colleagues for Valentine's Day.  I, apparently, cannot make cookie-cutter cookies on my countertop with success.  I don't know what is wrong with it (or me), but it wouldn't work at all tonight.  I decided to just slice and sugar instead.  Still tasty.

But I might have eaten one or two (or cookie dough) myself...

I have a lot of colleagues in a LOT of school buildings.  I always want to do nice things for them and feel like a part of each school community.  However, that would require me to plan for about 20 buildings in 6 school districts each week.  That's realistically not going to happen.  So I'm doing Valentine's Day to show how much I love everybody.  I might even take some to my boss. ;)

Besides the cookie goodness, I've tried to get back on track with my nutrition plan.  You might not know it, but in November 2005 (seems so long ago), I joined a local gym and paid (a lot of $$$) for nutrition counseling and personal training.  I lost 40 pounds in 3 months.  As a result, my self-esteem increased dramatically, I started dating like crazy, and then I gained the weight back.  I just couldn't pass up free drinks and desserts from cute boys.  I now find myself in the reverse situation.  My confidence is pretty high, and I'm dating, but I want to be healthier and try to get back to my fighting weight. :)  So...I'm going to try it without shelling out all the moolah.  I've already started detoxing from soda.  I didn't do this last time, but I'm pretty sensitive to artifical sweeteners, and diet soda really messes with me.  So, I'm doing the water thing.  I've never really been a big water drinker, but I'm starting to get on the bandwagon.  I'm already feeling better.  I'm also getting back to my nutrition plan diet.  It's kinda boring, but it does the job.  Here's what I ate last night:

Oh yeah.  That's a spinach salad with oil and vinegar.  What you can't see is the grilled chicken and tomatoes at the bottom of the bowl.  It was quite tasty.  Tonight I had something a little off the diet, but not crazy bad for me:  homemade turkey soup from my Mom.

I only ate about a third of it because I was full pretty quickly.  Other than the diet change, the only other thing I'm trying to do it remember my vitamins and supplements each day.  I'm BAD about taking vitamins, but I'm trying!  The exercising will come along as soon as I get the food routine down.  I don't want to set myself up for failure, so food first, then exercise.  In all honesty, the diet part is the most difficult.  I had gotten into a bad routine of eating breakfast at McDonald's every morning and eating fast food for lunch when I was out and about at work everyday.  It's no wonder I felt like poop a lot of the time.  I remember how I felt when I was working out and eating better - pretty good!

Wish me luck!  I need some encouragement!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

discipline, text messages, and gloom, OH MY!

I lack discipline. I really do. I don't get up at the same time every day. I don't go to sleep at the same time every day. I don't do work related tasks at predictable intervals. So, I'm trying something new.

Afternoon prayer.

I already try to carve out the 10-10:30pm time slot in my day to pray the Rosary with the radio. But in the afternoon right when I get home from work, I need something structured and productive to do in order to focus my attention for the rest of the evening. So, I'm going to try to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at that time. I adore this prayer, but I often let it go because I "don't have time." Well, time shall be made.

Today I prayed it. I've decided I want to dedicate it each day to my current romantic relationship and to my future spouse. If they are the same person, well then, double the prayers! Again I state, that if I want a relationship to happen, I need to make it a priority. That means a priority in prayer as well.


Speaking of the love interest, my day started better than usual this morning. Text messages at 5:56am usually don't happen, but this morning I got one from the love interest. A chipper good morning from him just seemed to spark a smile to start my day. Maybe him being a morning person is a good thing! lol. Now, if only he could text me every morning so I can wake up to him all chipper and smiling instead of my alarm...that would be fantastic. ;) Wait...what? Me? Wanting to be spoiled by a man waking me up in the morning instead of an alarm? Noooooo...

Anyway, today was pretty good besides the gloomy fog that has hijacked the St. Louis area for the past week. I drive by several cemeteries each day for work (my work area is like a connect the dots worksheet with cemeteries). The fog made it look really creepy today. Took some video while driving. Not the safest thing ever, but come on. Plus, if you listen, I have Glenn Beck on the radio. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

better than wallpaper

I realized over the weekend that I've been in my St. Charles apartment/townhouse for a year now. Yay! I still love it here, but I also noticed I have not hung anything on the walls yet. Well, okay, I have something above my couch and a cross collage in my bedroom. But that's it! So, here's what I did in the upstairs hallway today.

Much better than wallpaper! The door straight ahead it to the bedroom, the the right the bathroom, and to the left the conservatory (office, craft room, music room, and library). I like it. I know some people may cringe at a lot of crosses in my house (especially in the bedroom), but it's my house. I like it. DEAL.

I also had an unexpected knock on my door this evening. A woman I didn't know was standing outside. Apparently, she got some of my mail. I'm SO glad she brought it by! It was a necklace I ordered from Etsy. It is gorgeous! I love it, check it out on my awesome neck.

Love it! Now I'm off to finish watching American Idol and get ready for bed. My 8:00 session will come very early tomorrow morning.


I love to read. I find that I don't make enough time each day to read what I want to. And, starting next week, I will probably force myself to read textbooks instead of a great pick off of my to read list. Here's what I did in the late afternoon / early evening tonight.

And, yes, my hair looked that crazy. Laying in bed reading something that helps me become a better person with a pen or pencil in hand is one of my favorite activities.

This book is interesting, and if anything, it is a good review of information. I found myself chuckling at the parts teaching you how to "be a good listener." Sure sounded a lot like all the counseling classes I have taken in the past! Reflective statements, checking for understanding, empathy...oh yeah, baby.

On another lovely note, that trip to Europe that is heavy on my mind continues to poke at my heart saying: GO! JUST GO! I feel like that voice inside me, deep down, is screaming it: GOOO!

shutting it down

It's been a long time since I have had problems sleeping because I couldn't turn my brain off. Does anyone else have this problem from time to time? I was exhausted at 10:30pm last night, and I went to bed. But I didn't actually fall asleep until 2:30am. UGH. Thoughts of boys, work, decisions, to-do lists, etc. ran around and around in my mind keeping me awake. Usually, I can turn on talk radio at night to focus my brain on something else, and it will help to lull me to sleep. Not this evening. Even praying the rosary didn't put me to sleep (which, at one in the morning usually does). Then, I woke up sickly this morning. Boo.

There was a time in my life that I could not get my self to sleep at night, but I've been fine for years. I hope this isn't a taste of what is to come. I know too many people who have to use medication for a sleep aid, and I don't want to be in that category.

Here's hoping tonight brings a good, easy, night of rest.

Monday, January 18, 2010

How He Loves

I adore this song:


He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us oh
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us oh,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If his grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

That He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

2010 Motto

Some people might think I'm weird. So be it. But sometimes I like to come up with mottoes for myself. I finally decided on my motto for 2010:

Live your life, not your job.

If you look at my track record the past couple of years, you would agree that this statement is not a reflection of my life. For the longest time, I thought my job was my life. Wrong. My job is my job. It is an important part of who I strive to be professionally and who I help with my gifts and education. But it should not be my life nor is it who I am.

So...about living my life. My precious life that God has provided me with for a time on earth should be lived to the fullest. Often, I don't listen to that voice, deep down, that tells me what I truly want to do with my spare time and dollars. Well, I'm considering changing that this year.

Remember in a previous post I spoke about making dating and relationships a priority? Well, I spoke with MOTF about it last night. I told her I didn't want to come off desperate, but that if I want to get married, I should keep that at the top of my to-do list. She all but told me "Finally!" Why the heck didn't she say something sooner?! So, yay.

I haven't been anywhere utterly amazing on a trip since November 1998. That's a while ago, folks! I visited Vienna, Austria, with my family and church choir. It was a wonderful experience. Here's my family in front of the town hall in the midst of the Christmas Market. Each window of the building becomes part of the Advent Calendar...pretty neat!

I really have a longing to visit the holy places of the world and soak in different cultures and scenery. I had thought about visiting family and friends this summer in the western part of the United States, but I'm considering changing my mind. I received this weekend the itinerary for my Aunt and Uncle in Colorado for the rest of the year. They are basically traveling the entire year, but maybe 20 days at home, total, for the entire summer. That probably won't work out... Then my darling sister calls me saying she wants to vacation with me this summer. Cool! I need a road trip buddy. I would prefer a boyfriend for the journey, but sisterly love is awesome, too! The snag: she wants to go to the beach...preferable Florida to visit my Aunt in Ft. Myers. Well, that would be fun, too. I suggested we take a trip to St. Augustine and Key West as well, but she didn't seem too thrilled with that. But those things seem a little "blah" still to me.

So I started thinking to myself, where do I really want to go? I knew the answer immediately. I have been longing to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land or Italy for a long time. Really, anywhere that has wonderfully holy places to visit with a spiritual edge along the journey is what I crave. So, I knew my friend Matthew had gone with OSMM to the Holy Land and had positive experiences. I went on retreat with OSMM last March - had an amazing time. So I got on the website...and my hopes were crushed. Just as I thought...the Holy Land trip is always the first 2 weeks of December - a time I probably cannot take off work if I want to keep my job. But to my amazement, there was a summer trip opportunity: Portugal, Spain, and France. It fits in my timeline for work, and it hits some amazing holy places with a priest as our main guide. It seems perfect. It also seems expensive, but when I look at my funds, I have the moolah for it.

I feel like I should just DO IT! How amazing would it be to visit Avila, Lourdes, Fatima, etc.... I'm sure it would be life changing and draw me closer to the Lord, which is the goal of any day.

I should just go. The fear of the unknown is holding me back, but I should just go.

Live life, not my job!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I am admittedly not the neatest person in the world. My home at the current moment is barely livable to me, and I'm going to attack that problem tomorrow. But I must say that there is nothing like having the cleanest, shiniest car in the parking lot. When I purchased my new car in October, part of the deal was free car washes for life at the dealership. My last car was rarely washed. It was silver and the dirt blended nicely with the paint job. Well, I now have a black car, and with the recent snow my black beauty was so dirty I could barely touch it and stay clean. I knew that if I went to the dealer on a Saturday there would be a wait for the car wash. When I pulled in, the nice, cute maintenance guy said it would take an hour and thirty minutes. It was a little longer than I anticipated, but I was prepared with a book to read. Thankfully, it only took an hour. I think I had forgotten how shiny and pretty the car looks when clean, and I felt so proud and happy with my newly clean car. Yay.

While I was waiting, I started reading my new book, "The Five Love Languages: Singles Edition." Most people have heard of the original book, but the new singles edition came out in paperback in 2009 so I broke down and purchased it. I have heard countless references to it and I thought it might be a good read.

Well, it's a fast read. I'm typically a slow reader, but in that hour at the car dealership I read 70 pages. And although I haven't read anything that put all this information linked together, so far everything is a review. I'm hoping to finish the book over this lovely three-day weekend so I can move on to something else before my classes begin on January 25th.

Speaking of classes, I'm hoping I'm not setting myself up for failure this semester. After registering last semester for 15 credit hours and 6 classes, I ended up dropping one class and fumbling through another. So in the fall I completed 12 hours, 5 classes. This semester I'm a little less ambitious with 4 classes and 11 credit hours. Keep in mind that this is while I'm working full time! Three of the classes are undergraduate teacher certification courses while one course is an upper 500 level course on assessment and achievement testing. But the upper level course doesn't mean it will be more work. I have recently decided that undergraduate classes require more "work" than graduate courses. I know, I know, that doesn't really make sense, right? It makes sense to me. Undergraduate classes require more "busywork." Do this, do that...blah. Graduate courses have assignments that are more thought provoking and usually have more real world value to me. Usually. I hope this course has enough new information for me that it holds my attention.

Other than that loveliness, I had a great evening of watching another girlie romantic comedy: "Music & Lyrics." I'm sorry, but I really love that movie! The music and romance...oh so cute.

I must get to sleep...lots of cleaning and crafting to be had tomorrow! Thank you, Lord, for a day of productive errands and relaxing, girlie movie time. My romantic dreamer was happy today.

Friday, January 15, 2010

feast or famine

Seriously. This is getting ridiculous.

A little over a month ago one boy began to speak with me online on a popular dating website. We still talk and have seen each other once (it's been 3 weeks now...wondering if it's going to fly much longer). But now I have about 200 hits on my profile a week, and I'm averaging contact from 3 new men a day! Holy crap! It's a lot to keep up with.

This happened once before in the summer of 2006. And what a summer it was. I remember dating four men at once for about a two week period. After that, I determined that dating more than one person at a time was not exactly my cup of tea! One weekend especially, I went to a wedding on Friday with boy1, a date all day Saturday with boy2, and a date with boy3 on Saturday evening. I think about that now and wonder what was I thinking?! I don't want that to happen again, yet at the same time I want to explore possibilities while this current boy is still in the picture. I'm wondering if anyone has some advice on this. I should probably just stop worrying about it - I usually think too much.

One of my girlfriends has always joked with me that my dating life is either feast or famine. This idea seems to be holding true!

Well, whatever is going on, I'm just glad to be feasting at the moment. ;)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

the highlight of my week

I may have mentioned this to a few of my friends before, but if I honestly think about it, Sunday is my favorite day of the week.  Why?  I'll tell you why:

Holy Mass.

No matter what I do each week, Holy Mass is always the highlight.  I'm happiest at Mass and before the Blessed Sacrament.  Here's what some awesome people had to say about Holy Mass:

"The Heavens open and multitudes of Angels come to assist at the Holy Sacrifice." ~St. Gregory
 "The Angels surround and help the priest when he is celebrating Mass." ~St. Augustine
 "When Mass is being celebrated, the Sanctuary is filled with countless Angels, who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar." ~St. John Chrysostom

We read in the revelations of St. Bridget: "One day when I was assisting at the Holy Sacrifice, I saw an immense number of Holy Angels descend and gather around the altar, contemplating the priest. They sang heavenly canticles that ravished my heart; Heaven itself seemed to be contemplating the great Sacrifice. And yet we poor, blind and miserable creatures assist at the Mass with so little love, relish and respect!"

"All the good works in the world are not equal to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because they are the works of men; but the Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is nothing in comparison for it is but the sacrifice of man to God; but the Mass is the sacrifice of God for man." ~St. John Vianney, Cure d'Ars

"If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." ~St. Maximilian Kolbe

"Words cannot express the perfection of his adoration. If Saint John leaped in the womb at the approach of Mary, what feelings must have coursed through Joseph during those six months when he had at his side and under his very eyes the hidden God! If the father of Origen used to kiss his child during the night and adore the Holy Spirit living within Him, can we doubt that Joseph must often have adored Jesus hidden in the pure tabernacle of Mary? How fervent that adoration must have been: My Lord and my God, behold your servant! No one can describe the adoration of this noble soul. He saw nothing, yet he believed; his faith had to pierce the virginal veil of Mary. So likewise with you! Under the veil of the Sacred Species your faith must see our Lord. Ask St. Joseph for his Lively, constant faith." ~St. Peter Julian Eymard

"It is not to remain in a golden ciborium that He comes down each day from Heaven, but to find another Heaven, the Heaven of our soul in which He takes delight." ~St. Therese the little flower

Seriously, though.  How can I pass up an hour of heaven on earth on Sunday?  I can't.  But I also think that most 30-somethings wouldn't respond the same way.  I am so blessed in not having to struggle with *knowing* the truth.  Ever since the first time I went to Mass and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in February 1998, I have just *known* it is the truth.  It is difficult for me to explain, and that's why I don't really share it with people on a regular basis.  A seminarian once told me that I had "the sense of the faithful."  A gift and blessing where I hear the truth and know it as such without question.  The best way that I can describe it is that the truth has always been written on my heart, but it is revealed to me in God's time, not my own.  He chooses those moments in my life that I need to know more, and I accept them fully and wholeheartedly without question.

I think that is hard to grasp for most people.  Everytime I learn something new about Catholicism, I don't pour over it and "decide" whether I should believe it or not.  Instead, I pour over it to see how the information revealed has changed me and converted my heart and life closer to Christ.  I don't need to decide to believe, because it "just makes sense."  It feels right.  It's comforting.  It creates joy and more love.

I also think that is one of the reasons I want to learn, ready, and study more about Christianity, Catholicism, and theology.  I thirst for drawing closer to the Trinity.  I crave the Eucharist every week.  The more I learn, the more I love God and others.  How can I pass that opportunity up?  How can I dismiss that?  I can't.  It's amazing and life changing.

More about Holy Mass at another time. 

Making Time

If any of my friends are reading this and get upset that I'm always so busy, please smack me in the face once in a while.  Yes, I try to do too much.  We all know that!  But there is so much more to life than work and school, and I need to carve out more time for play and life instead of work and study.  I guess this fact kinda kicked me in the head today when I was chatting with my love interest.  He's also a teacher, and he said that he's going to get really busy really soon with paper grading and such.  I'm trying to decide if that is a slight and a hint to back off or if he is just really busy.  I probably would have said the same thing, well, 2 months ago.  So, with him I'm trying to find the balance.  I may be ready, but that only hit me yesterday!  I don't want life to pass me by anymore.  I'm going to try to do as much work as possible during work hours, and keep home stuff for home.

This concept only becomes more difficult and complicated, however.  Today I assessed another student who will qualify for services on my caseload.  This beautiful child who requires my service will put my number of buildings at twenty.  I used to joke that I would soon be working in twenty buildings, but now that it is the truth and upon me next week it's not so funny anymore.  I'm not laughing.  I love my Dad to pieces, but I don't want to be that person that works at home all the time.  I don't want to always have the laptop with me writing reports while watching American Idol on the television.  I don't want to cancel plans because I have reports to write after work hours.  And from what my boss told me today, I think it's going to get mighty worse this year before it gets better.

So what do I do in the meantime?

Pray.  Pray alot!  Set limits, boundaries, and know that although I am a wondrous woman, I am NOT wonder woman!  [Okay, we both have an awesome rack - it's true!  lol].  It's okay to ask for help.  Who I am and what my purpose is in life extends far past my job and education.  In fact, I am starting to believe my job and education are a far second to what I really feel called to do - a wife, a friend, possibly a mom.  Ahhh, priorities!  I'd really just like a husband to serve and share life with.  If I make *that* my priority, I would feel like my calling would be fulfilled.  Maybe I should put that on my online profile...

So, as I'm looking at my Christmas tree still up and half decorated and thinking about my schedule of seven sessions, 10 students, and 6 buildings tomorrow, I'm not bothered.  I know I will get through tomorrow.  All that stuff will fall into place.  I'm intelligent, positive, and crafty.

I just wish I was coming home from it all to a sweetheart of my own.

Jesus, I trust in you!  <3

A Case of the Mondays...

Today was a little strange for me.  After pumping myself up to start back at work last Monday, I found myself feeling a blah like I was on winter break from work once again when I had an unexpected four day weekend due to inclement weather.  I seem to have lost that "back to work" momentum.

First, I was about 10 minutes late to every school today.  This so very unlike me!  Then, at the high school I work at, a few colleagues were commenting about some strange noises coming from the outside windows.  I, of course, assumed it was falling ice from the building, but as a joke, I asked them if they had a ghost in the room.  To my utter surprise, I got this answer:  no, that would be the fourth floor.  What?!  Apparently, a student committed suicide on the fourth floor years ago, and there are stories and reports of unexplained things happening in places like the choir room.  Maybe I've just been watching Ghost Hunters too much lately, but it kinda creeped me out!

I was just kinda out of it today.  I had a lingering headache that 3 Aleve in the morning couldn't cure.  But then my evening got much better.  I was able to take a nap, which helped me feel a bit better.  Then, I got a text message from the boy I'm maybe dating?  We've been on one date and have been talking for a month.  Is that dating?  Anyway, anytime someone calls me gorgeous, I just have to smile.  Then I decided to take a 9:30 p.m.  If you know me, you know that I love to take a good drive.  I don't know if it is the vestibular input that is calming or the idea of being in control of the car, or just getting away from the house where I have an unending to-do list waiting for me, but I like driving a lot.  Well, I turned on XM 117, one of my favorite channels, and the Fully Alive radio show was on.  I love this show!  And they were talking candidly about sex.  I ended up driving around until 11 p.m. just to finish listening to the show!  I find the theology related to relationships, marriage, and sex so fascinating.  And, I've been wanting to get some books about it for a long time.  I gave myself permission tonight to order those books since I am unable to attend the lecture series on the Theology of the Body starting in February at my church.  My grad school classes interfere - boo!  So, here is what I ordered:

Who knew that a single, 30-something, Catholic woman thought about sex so much?  I cannot wait for these to arrive!  I will have my own personal study of TOB going on in the midst of my graduate classes.  Very exciting.

Thanks, God, for a great and holy way to end the evening.  Jesus, I trust in you! 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ready. Set. Shine.


After much heartache, loss, pain, and other nasty stuff that mucked up my heart for the longest time I feel like I am finally ready to open myself up for someone else to love again. Wow, that was kinda hard to say!

I think I have been fooling myself for years, thinking that I was ready when I really wasn't. I always try to take care of others and love others with all of my being and soul, but today I finally asked myself the question: what about me? What if there are people out there trying to love me and take care of me the way I want to love and take care of others, but I'm keeping my guard up? Love is a two way road. In order to fully love in this world, I need to allow others to love me, to see the vulnerable side of me.

This all hit me like a brick in the face when I came upon this amazing quote today:

"Where there is no love, put love -- and you will find love." ~St. John of the Cross

I've been pouring over those words of the great saint all day. I try and give so much love every day to everyone else when in my heart of hearts all I want is to find someone to love me. And yet, this quote kept telling me to spend a little more time each day loving and taking care of myself in order to have someone else love me also. I had never thought of it quite in that way before.

After this small revelation today, I found myself feeling more feminine, wanting to go through my jewelry box and see what was missing, styling my hair in new ways and thinking of myself in a new and improved light.

I feel renewed and re-energized as a woman. It's so strange. For so long, I just wanted to hide my loving deeds without anyone watching, hoping to not get noticed out of fear of pain and loss like in the past. But now I know I'm supposed to *shine*.

And then I remembered something from eleven years ago. Wow, I really can't believe it has been that long! Before I was Catholic, I went to the youth rally at the Kiel Center in St. Louis when Pope John Paul II was in town for a pastoral visit. I remember this speech so clearly, and I remember crying tears of hope. Please read...

"You are the light of the world. . . Your light must shine before all"
(Mt 5:14.16).

Dear Young People,

Ask yourselves: Do I believe these words of Jesus in the Gospel? Jesus is calling you the light of the world. He is asking you to let your light shine before others. I know that in your hearts you want to say: "Here I am, Lord. Here I am. I come to do your will" (Responsorial Psalm; cf. Heb 10:7). But only if you are one with Jesus can you share his light and be a light to the world.

Are you ready for this?

Sadly, too many people today are living apart from the light in a world of illusions, a world of fleeting shadows and promises unfulfilled. If you look to Jesus, if you live the Truth that is Jesus, you will have in you the light that reveals the truths and values on which to build your own happiness, while building a world of justice, peace and solidarity. Remember what Jesus said: "I am the light of the world; those who follow me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (cf. Jn 8:12).

Because Jesus is the Light, we too become light when we proclaim him. This is the heart of the Christian mission to which each of you has been called through Baptism and Confirmation. You are called to make the light of Christ shine brightly in the world.

When you were little, were you sometimes afraid of the dark? Today you are no longer children afraid of the dark. You are teenagers and young adults. But already you realize that there is another kind of darkness in the world: the darkness of doubt and uncertainty. You may feel the darkness of loneliness and isolation. Your anxieties may come from questions about your future, or regrets about past choices.

Sometimes the world itself seems filled with darkness. The darkness of children who go hungry and even die. The darkness of homeless people who lack work and proper medical care. The darkness of violence: violence against the unborn child, violence in families, the violence of gangs, the violence of sexual abuse, the violence of drugs that destroy the body, mind and heart. There is something terribly wrong when so many young people are overcome by hopelessness to the point of taking their own lives. And already in parts of this nation, laws have been passed which allow doctors to end the lives of the very people they are sworn to help. God's gift of life is being rejected. Death is chosen over life, and this brings with it the darkness of despair.

But you believe in the light (cf. Jn 12:36)! Do not listen to those who encourage you to lie, to shirk responsibility, to put yourselves first. Do not listen to those who tell you that chastity is passé. In your hearts you know that true love is a gift from God and respects his plan for the union of man and woman in marriage. Do not be taken in by false values and deceptive slogans, especially about your freedom. True freedom is a wonderful gift from God, and it has been a cherished part of your country's history. But when freedom is separated from truth, individuals lose their moral direction and the very fabric of society begins to unravel.

Freedom is not the ability to do anything we want, whenever we want. Rather, freedom is the ability to live responsibly the truth of our relationship with God and with one another. Remember what Jesus said: "you will know the truth and the truth will set you free" (Jn 8:32). Let no one mislead you or prevent you from seeing what really matters. Turn to Jesus, listen to him, and discover the true meaning and direction of your lives.

You are children of the light (cf. Jn 12:36)! You belong to Christ, and he has called you by name. Your first responsibility is to get to know as much as you can about him, in your parishes, in religious instruction in your high schools and colleges, in your youth groups and Newman Centers.

But you will get to know him truly and personally only through prayer. What is needed is that you talk to him, and listen to him.

Today we are living in an age of instant communications. But do you realize what a unique form of communication prayer is? Prayer enables us to meet God at the most profound level of our being. It connects us directly to God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in a constant exchange of love.

Through prayer you will learn to become the light of the world, because in prayer you become one with the source of our true light, Jesus himself.

Each of you has a special mission in life, and you are each called to be a disciple of Christ. Many of you will serve God in the vocation of Christian married life; some of you will serve him as dedicated single persons; some as priests and religious. But all of you must be the light of the world. To those of you who think that Christ may be inviting you to follow him in the priesthood or the consecrated life I make this personal appeal: I ask you to open your hearts generously to him; do not delay your response. The Lord will help you to know his will; he will help you to follow your vocation courageously.

Young friends, in the days and weeks and years ahead, for as long as you remember this evening, remember that the Pope came to the United States, to the City of St. Louis, to call the young people of America to Christ, to invite you to follow him. He came to challenge you to be the light of the world! "The light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it" (Jn 1:5). Jesus who has conquered sin and death reminds you: "I am with you always" (Mt 28:20). He says: "Courage! It is I; have no fear" (Mk 6:50).

On the horizon of this city stands the Gateway Arch, which often catches the sunlight in its different colors and hues. In a similar way, in a thousand different ways, you must reflect the light of Christ through your lives of prayer and joyful service of others. With the help of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the young people of America will do this magnificently!

Remember: Christ is calling you; the Church needs you; the Pope believes in you and he expects great things of you!

Praised be Jesus Christ!

So I'm ready. Ready. Set. Go. I'm ready to shine and let someone love me like never before. Now, if someone would just appear and be wonderful, that would be fantastic! But I must stay hopeful and consider what is in the works down the road.

Jesus, I trust in you!