making the trek

Trekking through life: Faith, family, friends and a whole lot of coffee!

Happy Anniversary, Papa Francis!! March 14, 2014

Photo cred....Cake boss, of course!!

Photo cred….Cake boss, of course!!

Because Pope Francis is so worthy of a Cake this BOSS!!!  I’m sure he wouldn’t even mind if we called him “Buddy”.  Ok.  Maybe a little.  But…yeah….Happy Anniversary, Pope Francis!

Pat Gohn has a podcast HOT off the press in celebration of Pope Francis’ One Year anniversary and you can download it HERE.  You will probably recognize a few voices from the interwebz, including (ahem) me!

And so, in my own nod to Papa…here are my own personal top faves of his first year as Pope…in 7 QT style with Jen and crew!

1.  The most humble and shocked beginning of this Pope who was so quietly in AWE of this role he now found himself in. That gentle wave.  That face that was still processing….”ME?”  “What?”.  Just love it!!  “hi.”

Credit where it's due!

Credit where it’s due!

2.  I was at work when the white smoke puffed.  Where were you?

More photo cred and instructions on making your own white smoke ;-)

More photo cred and instructions on making your own white smoke 😉

3.  Giving an impromptu and brief Catholic history lesson to my Baptist co-worker on the hows and the whys of electing a “Pope”.  Me, of all people.  My apologetics BFF would have been proud!!

4.   The complete silence in the crowd of well-wishers present for Pope Francis’ first prayer and speech to the world.  Goosebumps at the silence of all those people.  Be still my heart.  Be.  Still.

5.   The way the Pope walks the talk.  He lives his Jesuit calling in his role as Pope.  He DOES what Jesus would DO.  He loves the poor, the sick, the maimed.  When a child comes up on stage, he chuckles and carries on.  He sets the example for ALL of us to love our neighbor.  Over and over and over again.

6.  He welcomes the world.  He draws the world in by his genuine love and care for all.  Regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, financial standing, felony record or sexual preference.  We are called to love one another and he shows us time and again that this is possible even when we look at life differently from one another.  Jesus loves us all and HE will sort it out in the end; he doesn’t need us to do it while we are here on earth.  Pope Francis ain’t no gossip monger.

7.  Pray for Pope Francis.  For the world.  For one another.  Family.  Friends.  Co-workers.  Neighbors.  Let us all take the time to emulate this most approachable and loving Pope as we live our lives.

Credit:  my twitter page.  Don't YOU follow Pope Francis?

Credit: my twitter page. Don’t YOU follow Pope Francis?

Happy Friday y’all.  My favorite day of the week—woot woot!!

 

Fast First Friday aka #7QuickTakes March 7, 2014

Filed under: Catholicism,clean eating,Faith,Lent,weight loss — tracye1 @ 5:13 AM
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Burnout.  7 days in a row of blogging and nada this week, until today, because everyone in my casa is occupied (for the moment), so here I go…all Fast like….on this First Friday in March AND in Lent…woot, woot!  (see what I did there?)  Therefore, jumping back in (for today), with author and speaker of many hours in a row…Jen@Conversion Diary for a weekly wrapup…go see!

  1. So Lent is here, how’s it going for you?  For me, so far so good.  I haven’t felt called to fast from any particular thing but I have been called to prayer.  Lots of prayer….I mean:  Adoration, weekly, and prayer journal for prayer requests.  So, if you are in need of any extra prayer (and aren’t we all), feel free to drop a note in the combox or email me (found on the sidebar).IMG_3716
  2. The other thing I am committed to is finishing some spiritual reading:  Mere Christianity, The power of persistent prayer, St.Monica.  I have a bad habit of having too many books going at once, so this is a great time to actually focus on these!
  3. Meatless meal time.  This year is going to be a little less trying since we have a boy/man in the house interested in veganism and willing to help me out with finding new and fun recipes for the fam.  He’s good in the kitchen and tonight picked out and helped make a (non meatless) homemade version of Hamburger helper with roasted cauliflower and peas.  Makes dinner much less a chore for Mama!
  4. Ash Wednesday ended up being a date night with the Hubby and I.  The only Mass we can make it to is the 7 p.m. and opted to allow the kids to stay home and shower and settle in.  Sometimes you just have to exercise common sense in knowing when it’s forcing too much.  I missed them, but enjoyed the one on one with the Hubs.  We even took a selfie afterward!  Love an unexpected date time with my honey!669831106177617683_3843666
  5. Providing our son wakes up in the a.m. and we make it to the gym, it will have been a full week working out.  Spin this a.m. was with Crazy Courtney (as I like to call her) and I was soaked, so a good workout and start to the day.
  6. Clean(er) eating this week has been going well.  Perfect?  No.  However, definitely have been getting in more fruits and veggies and avoiding miscellaneous crap food at work that seems to show up unannounced and at the most ravenous times.  Planning is key.  Will just keep planning and plugging along.imgres
  7. The end!  Blessings on the weekend and praying all north of Florida will thaw out soon and welcome spring most joyfully.  Until then, I will do my best to appreciate the Vitamin D for you!IMG_1970
 

A birthday and a birth story February 10, 2014

Filed under: Family,Kids,Life,Photos,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 8:56 PM
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Yesterday our sweet girl turned 12.  12!!!  How can that be?  In a blink of an eye, that’s how.  A blink.  Tip from me to you:  don’t blink.

In honor of her birthday, I will offer up her birthDAY story.  Always fun, right?  If that’s not your thing, then click away because here I go.

In my heart of hearts, I always knew we’d have 3 kids.  Just knew it.  When we had 2 boys everyone assumed we’d “go for the girl”, whereas I just knew we’d have a 3rd…gender aside.  (and then we ended up with 4……so go figure, but this is the story of our 3rd)

We never found out the gender of any of our kiddos.  I was working in the radiology department which was always tricky because I had my ultrasound buddies at the ready to take a peek, however, I just love surprises and how do you top THAT surprise?

My pregnancy with our girl was not any different from the boys (aside from no morning sickness) and I already had 2 boys complete with all the trucks, matchbox cars, sandbox, rain boots and plaid shirts, I honestly didn’t think we’d have a girl and that was OK.

At the end of my pregnancy I explored induction with my OB.  I really don’t enjoy being pregnant, the last month is brutal and I was ready to sleep on my stomach again.  Selfish, I know and hats off to those of you who go late…God.  Bless.  You.  Anyhow, things were looking favorable and so we scheduled a date 5 days prior to her due date.  It was weird.  And it was kind of nice.  I’m a planner and it was good to plan for my sister to come stay with the boys, make some meals ahead, pack a bag, etc, etc, etc.

We were at the hospital at 6 a.m. and it was probably about 9ish by the time we were settled in and Pitocin dripping.  Funny, how writing this 12 years later some memories are fuzzier than others but, for me, that day, the Pitocin got labor rockin’ and rollin’ all kinds of quick like.  (Compared to a false start and all day labor with #1 and an all-nighter with #2).  By 10:30 a.m., maybe 11, I was hot for the anesthesiologist.  ANY anesthesiologist carrying a big needle to be stuck in my back.  Again, mega props to all who go au natural…as for me….the epidural is my friend.  A dear, dear, SHARP and point friend, but a friend!!

The rest of the labor went the usual pattern, cramp, rest, cramp, rest, ramp it up and repeat…however, with the epidural you look at the screen and say “Gee, THAT was a big one!”  Only so long though.  Then you begin to feel each rise and fall and baby wiggling into the gate ready to go.  Such it was with this one anyway.

Just before 2, I asked the nurse to check because it was getting quiiiiiiiiite painful and I didn’t need to see the monitor graph to know, it was getting all kinds of close.  The nurse confirmed my suspicions and alerted the Nurse Practitioner.  When she came into the room seconds later, I told her “I’m going to push”.  She said “Wait for me to get my gloves on”, to which I replied, “You better hurry”.

2 seconds and 2 pushes later (12 years later and I’m still pretty sure it went down pretty much just like that), she and my OB (who almost missed the party) announced, “It’s a girl!”

My response, “What do we do with a girl?”  Seriously.  My husband laughed.   It’s on the video.  We figured it out quickly and the introduction to pink and fun fashions was so fun.  Still is.  This girl.  Stole my heart.  Still does.

Happy birthday, sweetness!!

PicMonkey Collage

This card: made by little sis, given to big sis. Just too sweet!!

pancakes

Birthday breakfast. Chocolate chip pancakes. Whipped cream. Go big or go home.

mm

Did y’all know about these? Hubby’s cousin gave these to our birthday girl….yum!!! She shared them with all the littles she helped out with at Religious Ed. She’s now their favorite.

cake

Ice cream cake, double layer. Boring. No decoarations. Delicous. No complaints.

a&d

Birthday girl and Alaskan cousin

shy

Grampa trying to get birthday girl to not be camera shy….the 10 yo certainly isn’t !!

 

#Affluenza: are you kidding me? December 14, 2013

It seems we’ve come to a whole new low in society, the final fruit of a generation of spoiled children and parents who (it would seem) have failed to set boundaries and actually parent their offspring.

If you aren’t familiar with the story of Ethan Couch in Texas and his attorney’s outrageously SUCCESSFUL plea of Affluenza as a defense in his drunk driving that left FOUR people dead, by all means click HERE or do your own Googling, there’s plenty of fodder.   The gist of the story, as I see it, is that there are a group of young people (and for the minute, let’s leave affluence out of this) that steal beer, get drunk, drive and wind up killing 4 people and left 2 with serious injuries.  This week the judge in the case sentenced Ethan to 10 years probation and a long-term treatment facility and NO JAIL TIME.  Just chew on that a minute.  It’s like grizzle, you simply cannot swallow that.

Parents, we have a DUTY to parent our children.  Perhaps no one told us,or maybe we just weren’t listening/believing, but the sad fact is that parenting is the hardest flippin’ job EVERRRRRRRRRRRRR.  From the time our sweet and precious bundle crosses the threshold of placenta to oxygen it is Game On.  No joke.  Sleepless nights and sleep-deprived  parenting, potty training and 2-year-old defiance parenting, sibling rivalry and sharing parenting, school days and friendship parenting, tween angst and teen independence parenting, college life and young adult parenting and then…..then….then…..we can be friends.  First we must parent.  That, folks, is a marathon, so best fuel up!!!

Parenting means loving those kids and setting boundaries.  Let’s clarify:

bound·a·ry
ˈbound(ə)rē/
noun
plural noun: boundaries
a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.
Failure to set those boundaries leads to confusion when our kids are trying to figure it out for themselves.  I’m not advocating helicopter parenting, however, I AM all for setting up expectations and explanations of WHY we set limits and the consequences and following through.  The follow through is the hardest part and the most crucial, otherwise, where is the lesson learned?  And lo, there are MANY, MANY lessons to be learned, and some a few times before the lesson is mastered.
Currently, our 8th grader has had a semester of slacking to the max in his math class.  Now, it IS an 11th grade math class and we don’t expect an “A”; we DO expect effort.  The effort has been lacking to the tune of a D/F which has resulted in some pretty uncomfortable consequences.  Those consequences have resulted in 1)renewed focus, 2)more attentive and interactive child, 3)renewed vigor on task, 4)completed assignments, 5)increased understanding, 6) D/F to a C and 7)mature and tremendous communication among us and our son. It’s a challenge and sadly, we’ve done this last year and apparently we have short-term memory in this house at times and need to repeat lessons, however, as seen with our 10th grader….they DO learn, apply and adjust with much fruit to be shown.  Like I said earlier, it’s flippin’ hard; parenting is hard.
In the words of Nike,  JUST DO IT.  and then do it again.  and again.  and again.
Otherwise, we will have more BS “Affluenza” nonsense diagnoses to deal with rather than just calling a spade a spade.  If you mess up, there are consequences and if you REALLY mess up….there are REAL consequences.
Ethan (like MANY before him) made a terrible and tragic choice that dealt consequences that he will deal with mentally for the rest of his life.  Sadly, his consequences aren’t much different from the coddling that led to his poor choices.  Mamas and Papas, come on, let us ALL buckle down and hold our kids accountable for the choices they make, because Lord knows the mess we are in for when we don’t.
Galations 6:7-9
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
 

Some things we will never understand November 24, 2013

Filed under: encouragement,Faith — tracye1 @ 7:47 AM
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On Friday, I received a phone call from our neighbor, they needed a sitter that evening to attend a prayer service.  The service was for one of her young teachers who very suddenly and unexpectedly lost her husband that morning.  Married only 5 months, and 12 weeks along with their first child, a recent graduate from the local chiropractic college, this couple had their whole life ahead of them.  I did not know them.  I do not need to know them to know that this is a tragedy of which there may never be any answers until we get to heaven.  Maybe.

And so, with life completely upended we look to Trust in the Lord and have Faith in His plan knowing it is always far better  than we could possibly imagine….even in the midst of a black,  thick fog of grief.

By Thy resurrection from the dead, O Christ, death no longer hath dominion over those who die in holiness. So, we beseech Thee, give rest to Thy servants in Thy sanctuary and in Abraham’s bosom. Grant it to those, who from Adam until now have adored Thee with purity, to our fathers and brothers, to our kinsmen and friends, to all men who have lived by faith and passed on their road to Thee, by a thousand ways, and in all conditions, and make them worthy of the heavenly kingdom.

And if it’s on your heart, you can donate here:

http://www.gofundme.com/5fd75k

 

Weekend SURPRISE!! July 17, 2013

Filed under: Family,Gratitude,Kids,Life,Photos — tracye1 @ 7:56 AM
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My nephews are big ole baseball players.  You know the travel team, All-star team, any team you can put together and they’re IN!  My brother in law loves the game and coaches and my sister loves the game and brings the cheers.  This past weekend they had a travel game tourney of several days long scheduled, sadly, it superceded our July 4th plans.  And then……the baseball mojo just wasn’t clicking and they lost and were done.  Early.  Days early.  What do my sister and her hubs do?  They drive south, of course!  Surprising me at work and stayed with us the weekend.  Super fun.  Super spontaneous.  Super idea.  Props to my brother in law for the great idea.

Sister love!

Sister love!

Dinner out Friday night (gift certificate from Christmas FINALLY put to good use!), beach day, ice cream, fishing and enjoying each other’s company.  Good for the soul!

Cousins

Cousins….yeah, YOU get a good picture of all of them!

collage

Weekend collage!

 

 

Father’s day project homerun! June 17, 2013

Filed under: Family,Kids,Life,Marriage,Photos — tracye1 @ 8:49 PM
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Have you ever read “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman?  It is a fantastic book and has made a huge impact in our marriage.  The basis is that we all “speak” love in various ways and often our languages get mixed up as we likely do not speak love in the same manner, especially in marriage.  There is a quiz you can take with your significant other and see where you both lie; honestly it really cleared up a lot in the communication department once we began to translate each other’s languages.  (There is a book relating the same idea to kids as well).

Anyhoooo, Hubby’s main love language happens to be words of encouragement (whereas mine is gifts).  My friend Mary recently posted on Facebook about a sweet Mother’s day gift her daughter made for her for Mother’s day:  a jar decorated and filled with sweet notes for her to savor.  And so, I am mistress of stealing ideas and made this one my own for Hubby for Father’s Day.  A gift that spoke his love language, he loved it!   Feel free to steal it for your own!

Pasta jar.  Cleaned.  Scrapbook paper cut and glued with fancy ribbon to tie around top

Pasta jar. Cleaned. Scrapbook paper cut and glued with fancy ribbon to tie around top

IMG_4712

Printed and cut out a favorite photo, glued on top and filled jar with sweet notes from each kiddo!

 

 
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