Read it at Catholic Mom today.
Joining up with Kelly and the gang for 7 Quick Takes in the first time in forevahhhh.
This morning I had friends on my mind, having had a great chat with a girlfriend last night and looking forward to a friend’s new baby this weekend and cheering on a friend with a serious injury and I realized that I have learned so MUCH from my friends (my mom and sister included) about being a mom that maybe some of my “mom hacks” would be as useful and life-saving and/or fun for other moms. Here are 7 although I got a slew and I’m sure you do, too!!
Peace out and happy weekend!!
While this is not going to hold true for a great many as daylight breaks for those of us who were in the path of Hurricane Irma, I am counting my blessings.
Somewhere around 10 pm the strong winds began accompanied by rain who came well ahead of the winds. The wind. I have never in my life heard such a sound. Accompanied by incessant tornado warnings and reports of local touchdowns, I could feel my heart racing. “Jesus, I trust in you”, over and over and over. Living St. Paul’s exhortation to “pray without ceasing” took on a whole new life. Hubby, the kids and the animals slept. Somewhere around 2 a.m. I joined them for a few hours.
Around 5, I tried to let the dog out to do his business but as we stood in the backyard doing a quick survey, the wind was too freaky and we both hightailed it back inside. I see our fence is intact although our neighbor’s fence is leaning. We have minimal water in the backyard (so far).
I am grateful. For my family who is safe. That I followed my instinct to get our son home yesterday, because he’d be stuck now. A house that is still standing. Power. Coffee pre-made and heated up this morning.
Continued prayers as the storm heads toward my family and friends in North Florida and Georgia.
For now, I am charging my phone. Drinking my coffee. Praying some more and waiting for the next round of updates from friends and family.
Last weekend, on Saturday, the Hubs and I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and get the second propane tank filled. Just in case. Every store was SOLD OUT. I was like, what in the heck……usually the chaos starts a few days before the hurricane. Not a week. But then we don’t generally have the fresh hell of Harvey in our immediate thoughts. Fortunately, being early enough in the week, the stores were constantly replenishing.
Tuesday. I sprinkle the entire house with holy water. My kids roll their eyes. I give zero Fs. I boiled eggs. Made protein balls. Got ice, water and non perishables. I get my car serviced, just in case. And the week went on, work, school and peppered with constant news feeds and updates, the SOLE subject of any and all conversations at work, planning and the question to board or not to board, to evacuate the kids and Hubby or not.
Wednesday I set up the Zello app with friends and it is the biggest of the busts. Supposedly walkie talkie app for your phone to stay in touch. However, setting it up was a joke and since it uses wifi, it won’t be much help when power goes out. And it sucks down the battery even while not in use. File under useless. The delete button is a beautiful thing.
At the end of the week we decided to board up and…..no plywood. well, there was plywood coming, but basically you have to sit and wait for the truck. Hubby improvised and bought pallets and constructed window covering. While on the 3rd window, our oldest son got a lead on plywood and made the trip with a friend to grab it up. And of course, refill gas, which is now becoming hit and miss throughout town.
Thursday we make the decision for Hubby and kids to evac (since I am hospital based, there is a large possibility of having to go in to the hospital either during or after the storm and our oldest will likely be needed at work after the storm as well). Hubby works remote and we settle on Birmingham, since Atlanta is currently in the “cone of uncertainty” (gotta love that apt name) and Tallahassee is on the edge.
Friday the storm turns west and now with traffic on I95 just insanely busy with evacuees (I see it daily on my way to work as well as people resting in our parking lot after driving all night), and gas truly becoming harder and harder to obtain, we revisit the evac plan and decide for them to stay. As the storm continues to turn west, this is a decision I am so grateful for as they would have evacuated to the directly into the path. Tallahassee is now firmly in the cone, as is Birmingham.
Saturday 1/2 of our neighborhood loses electricity. Not us. Our next door neighbors come over and finish their laundry and bake a banana bread. I made a second and last run for post-hurricane stuff: instant coffee, baby wipes, bananas, grapes, oreos, candy corn and La Croix coconut water, because priorities. Finish laundry. Make chocolate chip cookies. Help Hubby hold a few boards as he finishes boarding up my mom’s house as best he can. Walk the dog. Pace a lot. Make chicken soup in the crockpot. Allow 2 of 4 kids one last sleepover for the week. Begin to check in on my west coast and Panhandle friends because it’s heading right for them. Some are making last minute evac plans, some are hunkering down, some are undecided. The entire state is in fret.
Sunday. I make pumpkin muffins and Three bean bake for dinner. Walk the dog. Sprinkle the house with more holy water because you can’t have enough holy water, this is a fact. I blog. I text. I do my bills. Now I’ll do one more round of baking and then practice my embroidery? The waiting is the hardest part. Maddening. But all my chickens are now home and we are as ready as we can be. At this point, we will absorb the “softest hit”, but of course, hurricanes are subject to change.
I’ll also continue praying, because it ain’t over ’til it’s over….thanks for that Hurricane Charley 2004 And Jose is just sitting out there making a plan and deciding what he’ll do. We’ll just focus on one storm at time, though…..
For the Keys and Miami who are getting hit now and for all who are in the path as Irma heads north. For those still reeling from Harvey. For those who will travel back home in a few days to take stock. Lord, have mercy.
Be safe, my Florida friends and fam. And everyone…………..pray! XO
It’s been a minute, but since I only seem to blog when I have a few days off, I figured I’d clock in with Kelly and the gang for some quick takes. So let’s go!
If you know me in real life (IRL) then you know that I have long held Jeremiah 29:11 as MY verse. The verse of our family. The promise that is the glue that held us all together, that continues to hold us together. It IS my email address. It is in my signature on my personal and work email (gotta love a faith based corporation). It is a lovely framed print on our kitchen wall. It is the verse that people tell me reminds them of me when they hear and the verse that strangers comment on and have thanked me for. I live it. I breathe it. I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU.
He doesn’t always share those plans with me when I’l like him to. There are some plans I am still waiting on to fall in place. And that’s ok. The point is, I am well familiar with verse 11. This week as I went through the Consider the Lilies study with the Take up and Read group, this verse was the focus……..along with verse 12-14. And it took my breath away. As if God himself basically asked me, “Do you see?”. Affirming the YES, He is with me. Every step.
When I seek Him, He is there. When I don’t, He is waiting on me. Waiting for me to seek, knock and ask so that He can allow me to find Him, let me in and answer me. Time and again, He is faithful.
When I put my trust in Him, He blesses me abudantly. Restoring what has been destroyed to even better than it was that first go around. I’ve seen this in so many facets of my life: relationships, health, peace, guidance, wisdom and even some material comforts. He is good beyond my wildest dreams.
This season of life has me turned a little upside down. Our kids are getting older and I find myself in levels of anxiety that I have never experienced in their childhood. Have we prepared them enough for life? Have we given them a strong enough foundation? Will they make the right choices? The list goes on and if I give into the doubt it is a long climb out.
This weekend we attended the funeral Mass for a CRHP sister who suffered from a form of leukemia. We were blessed as a team to have had her in our lives and especially blessed as we gathered one last time together a few weeks ago in her home to pray together and begin the Our Lady, Undoer of Knots novena. Yesterday, Vera reminded me that our job is to live our best life and to look forward to the eternal life we have ahead. Wrapping myself sideways about the “what-ifs” in life are non-productive and life-stealing. God has it under control. So, I am going to work on giving it all back to him to sort out. Our Lady will untie those knots on my behalf and my job is to continue to Seek, knock, ask and trust that His plans for me are indeed far better than I can imagine.
These flowers have been a balm to my soul this week. A Mother’s Day/Birthday present two years ago, these gorgeous lilies were transplanted into the backyard bed in hopes of propagation and long life. Sadly, they withered up and all but died away. I never dug them up because I’m really not a gardener…if it doesn’t thrive with minimal to no care on my part it should just move on elsewhere.
Fast forward to this Monday while walking the yard with the pup, lo and behold this beauty stood loud and proud where prior there was nothing. NO. THING. I mean one dead a** leaf pile and now this. Just WOW!
After an epically crappy parenting weekend this was quite the incredible gift. Trust me.
And then we have these lovelies that I am terrified to split and separate for fear they will all die a horrid death, and yet if I do prune them and thin them out it is quite likely they will be even more spectacular each year.
Kind of like parenting. Sow the seed. Nurture. Give them room to grow and even when you have to step in and walk them through the hard and horrible stuff of live and learn….even that can grow tremendous beauty and healing. (fortunately, I am a slightly better parent than gardener)
Walking a lake loop during another child’s counseling appointment and the glory of God is just all around. So much to be grateful for.
Even these lovelies are pruned heavily for a period of time and their blooms are so incredibly lovely to stand in the shade of.
John 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.
And so even though we weather the storms from time to time, I have every faith and hope that the seeds that we planted will bear abundant fruit in due time. Parenting is not for the weak, my friends. Thanks be to God for His endless mercy and grace to fuel us along the way……and for the interecession of Our Blessed Mother as she unties these knots to pave the way to glory. Often the most amazing gifts are revealed after the strongest of storms. Thanks be to God.