The Flats Challenge – Day 6

Okay, so I freely admit that I’ve been slacking in the whole blogging thing when it comes to the flats challenge, but dude……I’m handwashing all my diapers and getting ready for Amelia’s baptism and a party for like 50 people tomorrow – cut me some slack!! Actually, as of right now everything is pretty much under control as evidenced by the fact that I’m sitting at my computer typing and not running around like a psycho……

Wednesday night, I paid for the party room – our complex has two rooms that they rent out to residents for parties for a nominal fee…..and each room has a full kitchen which makes party prep very nice. Thursday night, I got the certificates of eligibility from Amelia’s godparents and delivered them to the rectory so there would be no last minute problems when they weren’t in her file come tomorrow.

Last night….well, afternoon-ish into last night…..I ducked out of work an hour early, picked Bill up and we went right to BJ’s. I didn’t want to go there today and risk getting over-run by the “spending the holiday weekend at home and just having a few people over for a cook-out” crowd and fortunately, we got there early enough yesterday to beat the “heading down the shore so we need some cases of soda, chips and jerky beef” crowd.

So now my fridge and freezer look like I’m preparing to feed a small army and I’m actually really not making that much…..just (frozen) meatballs, hot dogs and sauerkraut and hot turkey for sandwiches – each with a crock pot specially designated for it and standing ready by my front door to be taken down to the party room as soon as we get the key. I’m also making baked rotini with “homemade” sausage sauce….I’ll worry about that after we get home from one more quick store run… which I run to the dollar store for some serving utensils and the deli to pick up the sliced turkey……and hope that the six 12 packs of soda in my trunk don’t explode or crush the chips – I usually park right outside the door where the party room is, so we just left all that junk in the car to save extra trips up and down ;^)

Yes, yes….enough about the party prep, right?

Continue reading


Something about NFP and the pill…..

I just had to share this – it’s a message from My Pastor (yes, MY Pastor 😉 from the bulletin this week:

I am often humbled and deeply impressed with the warm reception I receive when visiting people in their homes, even people who do not know me. People show great hospitality and kindness as they welcome us priests into their houses and into their lives.

In the Letter to the Hebrews we read: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hospitality has been a virtue of great importance throughout salvation history. Abraham and Sarah were hospitable to their three guests in today’s first reading. Because of that, the couple was blessed with a son. In the Gospel, we see that Martha was hospitable to Our Lord in material things, while Mary was hospitable on a spiritual level.

When we welcome others, we show respect for Our Lord in a fundamental way. We are welcoming God’s greatest creation – human beings who are made in God’s image and likeness. This is especially true when married couples welcome new children into the world and form them for society, for the Church. A little while ago, I visited a mother in the hospital who had just delivered her fourth child. She and her husband were thrilled. But she told me that during her pregnancy, several people had said to her: “You’re crazy to have another baby! You belong on the pill!!

Children are the supreme gift of marriage. What wonderful blessings they are! And yet parents know what a real sacrifice and challenging work it is to raise children the right way. Husbands and wives should decide with God, in a spirit of responsibility and generosity, how many children, hopefully, to welcome. The method of birth regulation is among the most important decisions spouses make. The world, of course, promotes contraception, sterilization and even abortion as the only sane and reliable methods to regulate births.

By being open to life, husbands and wives show their respect for the Lord and His plan for marriage and family. Unlike the evil of contraception, the very reliable, safe and moral methods of Natural Family Planning are entirely open to life. Never does the couple using Natural Family Planning close their sexual acts to the Lord and Giver of life. God remains God. And as we see from our Scripture readings today, when we stay faithful to Our Lord, He fulfills our needs and satisfies our desires. Far from being just another technique of avoiding children like the old rhythm method, Natural Family Planning fosters those virtues that bring spouses into the right relationship with Our Lord and with one another. This is certainly to be promoted – TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH!

Married couples and, in fact, all of us should imitate Abraham, Martha and Mary – receptive to God who comes to us in one another. May we be hospitable, welcoming others and even an occasional angel.

I admit, it took me a while to figure out that artificial contraception was just NOT for me at all.  Even after having my daughter, I went right back to the pill….but I was miserable….when I discussed it with my doc, she would switch me back and forth between different brands….I even tried the ring for a while….with the last round of pills I would get violently hungry at the same time every morning and I don’t mean like “Dude, I’m starving!!” kind of hungry…no, it was more like “Dude, if I don’t eat something right fucking now I’m going to pass out or throw up or both – either way it won’t be pretty!!” kind of hungry.  When I called my docs office to let them know I wasn’t happy with that particular pill either, before I explained the problem they asked if it was severe nausea or or the intense hunger……really?  You knew that people were complaining about that and you still gave it to me?

That was really it.  I’d let them start me on the pill to “regulate things” when I was 18.  I wasn’t sexually active and spoke to my priest about it……after Bill and I got together, I eventually let myself get comfortable with the convenient side effects.  I dealt with just about every possible side effect for way too long…..after the crazy-hunger-pill episode my doc said she would call in something else for me but I told her to forget it, I was going to do things the right way now.  It took 3 months for the have-to-eat-like-NOW to ease up and a year for it to stop completely.

Since I’m always being asked “You mean you’re not on the pill?”, let me ask you…..why are you?  My top three favorite responses:

  • ….because I can have sex whenever I want!

Okay….and how often is that?  Because to be perfectly honest I had the sex drive of a paper weight no matter what kind of hormonal contraceptive I was using.  Now that I’ve got all that crap well out of my system, I have the normal sex drive of a 33-year-old woman, many more days than you probably think to do something with it and a LOT less anxiety……over that aspect of my life, anyway!!

  • ….because I get bad cramps and/or long periods

Yeah…been there….worst cramps I ever had were while I was taking Ortho Tri-cyclen.  Longest periods, when I was using the ring.  Do you really think your 35 day cycle wants to be crammed into the 28 days that the pharmaceutical companies think it should be?  Honestly?

  • ….because I can skip my period if I want to

This is the one that disturbs me the most….that is seriously not even a little bit good for your body.  It’s time for your uterus to shed it’s lining and you want to keep it around for another week/month/quarter to better suit your schedule?  I’m not even going to get into all the problems that can cause but wow….you might want to think about that one a bit more.

Look, I’m not judging anyone but by the same token, don’t judge me.  I’ve learned my lesson…..and yes, I’ve even confessed my sin….and was lucky enough to have a priest – a friend! – that would patiently answer all of my questions and kindly smile when I shook my head at my own foolishness 🙂

It’s not too late – it’s never too late!!  Learn more about Natural Family Planning here.  Then talk to someone who has the answers….and accept the fact that you might be looking for a new GYN.  Then, if you or someone you know think NFP might be the way to go, there is a study currently underway on the effectiveness of two different methods of Natural Family Planning: click here for more info – I’m doing it 😉

Peace out-

It’s always something…
04.05.2010, 20:44
Filed under: Health and Fitness, Holidaze, Proud2bCatholic

Okay, so it’s been a while since a real entry made an appearance here…..I’ve been busy!! Sort of…off and on….and playing EQII….a lot 🙂 I’m not going to go through a whole lot of playing catch up, though….just a few important points.

First, I hope everyone had a blessed, joyous and very happy Easter! Holy Thursday was a beautiful day for us….when I got done work, I picked up Bill and Brittany for a mini-10th-birthday celebration…stopped at Game Stop so Brittany could spend her birthday bucks and then went to Uno’s for dinner – her choice because she’s just crazy about their shrimp and crab fondue….and then, understanding and faithful child that she is, was happy enough to go to Holy Thursday Mass….as long as we went to Fr.G.’s church….which is what I had planned to do all along 😉

Washing of the Feet 2010:91/365

All I can say is….beautiful….I really have to rank the Holy Thursday Mass as my numero uno favorite…..hands down….it’s one that I just can’t ever get through without crying….ever! And to see Joe* washing the feet of the 12 parishioners….it’s kind of hard for me to tell whether I turn into a sobbing mess because I know what he – Joe*, the man, the priest – means to me or because, in the celebration of the Mass, I can truly see Christ in him…it’s a very emotional Mass!! Afterward, everyone processed out quietly and we were heading to the car but….I knew that he had seen us and I couldn’t just….leave….so I snuck back in and knocked at the Sacristy door to say hello….fortunately, he was just as thrilled to see us – and surprised! I hadn’t told him we’d be down – lol! We all chatted for a bit and set some tentative dates on when we can get together to go out….we settled on the beginning of May but he is also set on going out for my birthday in June……..

I’m not really a “Hey! It’s my birthday!!!” kind of person…I’m more of a “Oh, my birthday? Yeah, sometime in June….” kind of person…..I’d rather just have the day off, sleep in, get some Chinese food and maybe a chocolate banana layer cake for dessert – with no writing, and no flippin’ candles for cryin’ out loud! – and then forget about it again until next year. But anyway……I need to figure something out to deflect attention from myself….like going to Lngwd Grdns or something along those lines.

Holy Saturday 2010:93/365

Anyway, Thursday was beautiful….I had to work again on Good Friday, no chance of leaving early and I’m not even going to start on it because I’ll get all crabby about the whole stupid situation again. I ordered a crab pizza on my way home and before I stopped to get it, I ran in to a little Russian/Ukrainian/Polish market around the corner to pick up Brittany’s favorite chocolates to put in her Easter basket….while I was there, I found a bunch of other fun Easter chocolates and some little shrinky-dink thingies to make fake pysanky eggs….which turned out beautifully as did all of our Easter eggs 😉

Easter Sunday, we went to Mass at our new parish…..I decided to go to what I thought would be the big mass….but….it was really not crowded….I mean last year at our old church, they had to get out the crowbar to fit everyone into the pews…..apparently the crowded Mass is an earlier one :- Either way, it was nice and the ‘Alleluias’ were abundant!

Alleluia! Alleluia!
Like the sun from out the wave,
Christ has risen up in triumph
From the darkness of the grave,
Glorious splendor of the nations,
And the lamp of endless day;
Christ the very Lord of glory
Who is risen up today!

Love that song!!!

Okay, so now…..what’s the deal with this pic, right? Well, for all you Flickr folk, Happy Bench Monday! And no, it’s technically not a bench but it embodies the spirit of the bench….it’s actually my bathroom scale….and at the moment, it’s cause for concern for a different reason than I have ever had to be concerned with my bathroom scale.

About a month ago, I got on the scale for the first time since we moved. At the end of November. Yeah. Because, really….if I have no reason to watch it, it’s just not worth the stress. And figuring Thanksgiving and Christmas and all into the picture….why bother? So anyway….I go on the scale and my initial “Whoo-hoo!” at being a full 15 pounds lighter than I was before we moved actually never left my lips because….well….I could only account for that 15 pounds one way….and I’d be willing to bet that it in fact disappeared not since we moved in November….but probably since January. And in the last month, I’ve mislaid *another* 5 pounds.

Yes, I know….”Oh, boo-hoo, you lost 20 pounds….” Look, for someone who has had one eye on the scale for 20 years and been disappointed by reliable diet plans when they just stop working on more than one occasion……this is kind of disturbing. The fact is….I am generally a stress eater. But this is different. I think I am beyond stressed and just…..I dunno….I can’t say that I’m ignoring that I’m hungry….but I’d have to say 75% of the time, when I’m supposed to eat – say, on my lunch break for example – I’m pretty sick to my stomach and just not interested…..on those days, by the time dinner rolls around, I cook…..and probably eat about half what would be normal for me.

There is a change looming on the horizon – everyone PLEASE say a prayer for me this week!! If that works out and this downward trend continues, I guess I’ll see if my doc wants to send me to a GI…..if it falls through…..I’ll have to see what else he thinks I should do…..really, it’s not like I can’t stand to lose a few…I’m just concerned with the fact that it’s happening with no effort on my part :-p

Oh, that’s enough…..I’m keeping my fingers crossed for change and keeping a chorus of ‘Alleluias’ in my heart 🙂

Happy Easter, everyone!

03.28.2010, 08:22
Filed under: Holidaze, Proud2bCatholic, The Bible


“On the next day, when the great crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took palm branches and went out to meet him, and cried out: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel.’ Jesus found an ass and sat upon it, as is written: ‘Fear no more, O daughter Zion; see, your king comes, seated upon an ass’s colt.'”


Happy Lent!!
02.21.2010, 10:32
Filed under: Proud2bCatholic, The Bible

Yes, I said “Happy Lent” and it is quite appropriate – this is not a dismal season of suffering because we are giving up things we enjoy or doing things we don’t really like as a sacrifice. We are preparing to celebrate His death and resurrection, we are offering thanks for His selfless act….He died and was raised for us! The very least we can do is give up soda or chocolate for a little while.

Having said that, now…..what are your plans for Lent this year? I love Diet Pepsi…seriously, it’s my favorite beverage – yep, even more so than coffee…I used to be able to get through a whole 2 liter bottle of DP every day….and I gave it up for Lent about 4 years ago because I knew I would really miss it.  Really.  And I did.  But by the end of the 40 Days it seemed like such a small sacrifice – especially compared to His!!  And to this day, I’ve never gotten back to drinking it – or any soda – like I used to.  Now, it’s like a treat and I might have about 12 oz. a week.

As I’m sure you are all aware, I’m struggling with some demons right now. ::snicker:: Spiritually and (outward) physically so I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do as far as my personal sacrifice….but since I’m battling on both fronts, I decided to get out the big guns right away. I will be fasting for the duration…what that boils down to is one regular meal each weekday and two small meals each day on the weekend. No, I am not giving up coffee….it aids me in my physical battle. I’ve also picked up on a habit I’d lost recently and am praying the Rosary daily. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a trick to find private quiet time to pray the Rosary but I’ve discovered that breaking it up throughout the day makes it do-able…even for me!

Remember…”sacrifice” is not a dirty word.  And you’d be surprised at the good that comes from every little thing you offer up….whether it be something as simple as giving up soda because you love it….or helping out at a soup kitchen “just for Lent” and still being there when Thanksgiving rolls around 😉  Do everything you do with a little prayer in your heart.  Do not be resentful….seriously, He DIED so that you may have eternal life – isn’t that worth a little effort on your part for a few weeks?

-Peace and Happy Lent to you all 🙂

“Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil.  He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry.
The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.’
Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, One does not live on bread alone.’
Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant.
The devil said to him, ‘I shall give to you all this power and glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish.  All this will be yours, if you worship me.’
Jesus said to him in reply, ‘It is written: You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.
Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him,
‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you, and: With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
Jesus said to him in reply, ‘It also says, You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.
When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.” –Lk 4:1-13

What a day!
01.24.2010, 21:28
Filed under: Politics, Pro-Life, Proud2bCatholic

I’m still not sure I’m recovered enough to write this but I don’t want to wait too long, either. My legs still hurt and my heart skips and I get a little dizzy whenever I think about it….the whole day was a little overwhelming 🙂

The happy change of plans I mentioned a few days ago (J. not being able to fill his bus)…well, it was actually Fr.G. that had a few spaces left on his bus. And yeah we kicked the idea around for a bit but decided that it would be way cool to go with him. He’s been going down for years and was instrumental in getting the Vigil for Life going and I think that’s just amazing and we all figured it’d be better to go with him than to drive and putter about on our own and try to find him. Well! So glad we did 🙂

We left home at 6:a.m., stopped for gas, coffee and some snacks….got to Fr.G.’s Parish a little before 7 and at 7:30 on the nose, the bus rolled out of the parking lot.

Now, I frequently head over to Planned Parenthood to pray the Rosary with a group of lovely people on Saturday mornings. But……when we got on 95 and really started rolling, the last thing I expected to hear was that we were going to be saying the Rosary….now, I think the Rosary is probably the most awesome way to pray, but it just seemed weird to me to have this bus full of people rolling down the highway praying the rosary….but then I got to thinking about it some more and…..well, what better time? And it was amazing!! I don’t know if it was because I knew where we were going or because….because I haven’t prayed the Rosary with Fr. G. in a long time :- but this was very different from praying outside the “clinic” where we pray that the mothers will change their minds and pray for the lives that are lost….no this was almost joyous! That we were rejoicing in the knowledge that we were heading to Washington to raise our voices for CHANGE. Trust me, I know it sounds weird….but it was a thrilling way to start the day!!

We stopped at a rest stop in Maryland. There was a bathroom on the bus…but….ya know….so Brittany and I ran out to use the ladies room. But when we saw the line, we turned around and ran right back to the bus. Which was locked. So we waited. A few moments later Fr.G. came back to the bus and we chatted for a few….I finally told him why I’m so miserable, because he has a way of getting things out of me and he looked concerned so I changed the subject. I’m okay with it weighing on me, but I don’t need it to bring anyone else down. So we laughed about some things and compared notes on some things….and then the bus driver came back and opened the bus.

We arrived in Washington and pulled up in front of the Natural History Museum a little before 11. And coolest of coolness, we had a little time to wander around the museum! I had never been in this particular museum….I’d been to the Smithsonian before but it’s just one of the places I never made it to. Bill and I had planned to take Brittany down this past summer but many of the things we were interested in seeing were being renovated into the fall and by then we were packing for the move. It was too neat though! And the time we had was just not enough to really enjoy everything.

Around 12:30, we met up and headed out to the Mall to listen to a few of the speeches. My hearing is getting pretty bad so I had a hard time….I could hear the women speaking without too much difficulty but the men….just sounded like the teachers on the Peanuts specials :- But I had plenty of time to look around….and I had to wonder why, when I was in high school, I never went to the March. I don’t remember now if it was even an option and if it wasn’t, well what’s up with that? There were so many high school kids there….just looking around the Mall and even once the March started, people 21 and under had to outnumber the rest of us by like 2-1 – it was amazing!

When the March started…I think we were all a little relieved. There had been a lot of standing around with us all packed in pretty close while we waited for the head honchos to get together and make their way out to the front of the pack. I actually think this is the part that messed up my legs….and I hate to complain about it but they really hurt!! Once we got off the Mall and out in the street things were much better though….still quite crowded but we were able to move. And better appreciate everything….the sea of protest signs and placards, the singing and chanting….and the people in nearly every window – and even on the roofs!! – of every building we passed along the route cheering us, applauding and giving the thumbs up as we went by…I couldn’t help but wonder how long they had been standing there….and if they would still be there when the last person marched past 🙂

March for Life - 2010 March for Life - 2010 March for Life - 2010

It was just about when everything started to open up a bit that I felt someone brush past me…no, it wasn’t the first time in that mass that someone had done that but this one caught my eye….I knew the profile in an instant but needed another quick look before I could call it….it was Fr.K., my chaplain from high school!! He’s Pastor at a big church in South Philly now.  I had stopped in one Sunday for Mass when we had made an early run to the Italian Market but that was nothing compared to running into him like this. He was walking with a young priest from the Parish that actually grew up in my neighborhood and was a year or two behind me at my grade school….it was hard to take all that in at the moment but when I finally got to think about it I’m so excited that someone from my neighborhood, my school, roughly my age became a priest!! It gives me hope. But the coolest thing about it is that in a crowd of 300,000 people….there they were 🙂

By the time we got to Capitol Hill, I was flying. I was so caught up in everything going on around me that I didn’t even notice if anything hurt anymore….all I could do was make sure Brittany was in sight, Bill was still at my side and I could still spot Fr.G. in the crowd….but I was having a ball! It’s the youth, man….it’s electric – lol 🙂

The crowd outside the Supreme Court was just immense…to the point of not being able to put one foot in front of the other. We prayed and prayed again and then got the heck out of Dodge so other folks could do the same thing. I lost Brittany at that point, but still had a lock on Fr.G. and he indicated that she was with him….it was rough getting out of the street but we finally all got together again and went to meet our bus.

Almost as soon as I sat down on the bus, all the little aches I’d been able to forget about in the excitement came back to haunt me. I took a couple of Tylenol from my bag while Fr.G. put a movie on for the ride home….The Greatest Story Ever Told, which I have actually never seen and was really starting to enjoy right up until I fell asleep about a half hour in….not to worry though! I was asleep for about 15 minutes when Bill woke me up to tell me he’d gotten a message from Stv about Mchll’s party yesterday. ::sigh:: So I called that 15 a “power nap” and was able to catch a good bit more of the movie.

After much debate, we all opted to not stop at the rest area on the way back and pulled into the parking lot at 8:00 on the nose! We disembarked and said our goodbyes…I kissed Fr.G. on the cheek and thanked him for putting up with us…he scoffed, of course and we agreed to make plans to get together again next month. Then we left…with me not telling him the important things….again.

My Hero In The Crowd

@ the March for Life :-)
01.22.2010, 13:13
Filed under: From the Phone Side, PhotoOp, Politics, Pro-Life, Proud2bCatholic

Brittany and Fr.G. at the March for Life 2010 in Washington, D.C. 🙂