Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hello to my EDEL friends!

This little Instagram moment pretty much sums it up.

I saw that the "Who's Coming" page was up, and after adding you all on facebook and on my "blogs you follow" list, I decided to officially say hello!

I am so excited about this gathering, and also really nervous.  At any given moment, I never know which emotion is stronger.  :)  I'm excited because I can't wait to have a break.  I think it will be as refreshing as a retreat, and possibly the most fun I've had since Disneyworld a couple of years ago.  I love, love, love meeting new people, and the thought that the people I'm meeting are Catholic moms like me?  Even better!

I'm nervous because I will be leaving my nursing toddler for the first time overnight.  I'm also afraid that the couple of people I'm acquainted with who are going will already be hanging out with friends that they know much better, and that I will be lonely in a crowd.

I can't be the only one who is desperately wanting to connect and have fun... but also worried that she won't have anyone to connect with!  So if you are out there?  Let's talk.  I'm (relatively) normal, very friendly, love to laugh, will listen to you and fill awkward silences, and smile a lot.  :)

I'm a 33-year-old, first-year homeschooling mom of five (ages 2-11), living in the Houston suburbs.  I'm originally from Tulsa, OK and my husband is from Santa Fe, NM.  I converted to Catholicism (Easter Vigil '02) in college, because after a lot of searching, I was fascinated by Church history and apostolic succession.  I met my (also convert) husband at a Catholic retreat 10 years ago, so I have a pretty good track record with finding soulmates at these things.  ;)

I love to blog and have since 2003... but my daily posts have dwindled to monthly posts (if that) over the last few years, thanks to my busy days with five kids, taking two of them to various therapies, homeschooling, teaching at a hybrid school and owning a photography business.   My four year old is on the Autism spectrum, and she makes every day interesting and my two year old is working through some remaining developmental delays beautifully.  :)

I've been really sad lately, because we thought we were having a baby, but made a saint instead.  Our little Blaise Augustine has been enjoying Heaven since February, but it has been the hardest thing I personally have ever experienced.  I know he is there praying for us, but I want him here in my arms.  After some much-needed counseling by a wonderful priest, I'm healing.  But I've been very uncharacteristically down, withdrawn, and tired since then.

I'm going to try to focus on myself and my health this year, for the benefit of my family.  I've cut back on my outside obligations and promised Adam that I won't volunteer for anything new for at least a year.  I've given notice that I won't be teaching next year, and I got out of my photography studio lease early in effort to downsize my business.  I'll still be busy because, well, I have five kids that I'm homeschooling.  I'm also going to Mass a lot more.  I need the actual grace from Holy Eucharist to make it through the long weeks! :)

That's a proper introduction, I think.  Oh... did I mention I am long-winded?  ;)  Say hi!  I'd love to get to know you before I check out your crazy shoes.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 1

Why a Christmas photo?  Because I haven't posted it yet, of course.  ;)

Hello, blog.  I've been way too busy this month, cooking everything from scratch, getting strep throat followed by a kidney infection, being overwhelmed with my jobs (homeschooling/teaching/photography), and still grieving my sweet baby to be online much.  But I do like to write here when I think about it and have a moment.  It's important to me.

Our meal plan has been really, really hard.  And then I got sick.  So... it hasn't been perfect.  Life demanded that we re-evaluate.  We are sticking to gluten-free, especially because my darling Ben has DEFINITELY had immediate, very unpleasant reactions to grain.  It runs in Adam's family, and I think he definitely has Celiac's disease.  We also have done completely away with preservatives, dyes, and MSG,  We aren't eating soy, and only WHOLE corn... not HFCS.  But we are eating dairy.  I think it will get easier when I am not working away form home anymore.

I had the wonderful experience this weekend of attending the Houston Catholic Women's Conference as their photographer... I even got a name badge.  ;)  I saw so many old friends, and even met a couple of new ones.

By far, the most wonderful thing about the day was that I got to talk with a priest about Blaise.  They had Confessions set-up, and I ended up getting a mini counseling session for a good 20 minutes.  I poured my heart out about what I've been thinking and feeling, and I got some very good advice, and prayer, and peace.  It hurts, and it will always hurt.  But talking with Father was very healing.

My body is still so out of whack, hormonally and with all the sinus/respiratory stuff.  I have another appointment tomorrow, and I am honestly dreading it.  Sometimes, I think I am just too broken to be fixed!  But I am praying I can be well.  I have been feeling SO much better in the last 2 months than I've felt in the previous 2 years.  

Today was hard, and it isn't really even worth getting into here.  But I will simply say, that for every time I surprised by how careless & cruel some people can be... I am equally surprised & comforted by how amazing, loving, compassionate & supportive others can be.  I have some really, really good friends.