Friday, September 30, 2011

Thankful hearts...

When I was living in Houston I would meet with my spiritual director every week. And that continued up until our wedding. However, after our wedding we moved away and now I only talk to Sister K (or Special K as my roomie named her) once or twice a month over the phone.


I miss meeting with her. She truly is so special. She’s touched so many lives with her Christ-like presence. Just sitting and talking with her I could feel His warmth and for that I am forever grateful.


Since moving I carry our conversations with me in my heart because they taught me so much. One specifically has been running through my mind quite a bit lately and I wanted to share.


Gratitude


Special K always talked about having a grateful heart. A heart that is always thanking the Lord in all times. Times of joy, times of sorrow, times of confusion, times of blessing, times of anger, times of peace, times of certainty and uncertainty - and for all in intensive purposes, every possible time under the sun. She would always remind me to try and keep my heart thanking the Lord and through this my heart would leave room for God to work to occupy the space that is His in the first place. Through my heart being filled with gratitude in good times and in bad, my eyes, heart, and soul would be more open and ready to see God’s gracious Hand ever so gently leading the way. All because I would be thanking Him each step of the way. An act that ultimately helps me focus on His Perfect Will instead of my own ideas of what would be “perfect”. A thankful heart keeps me looking outward rather than getting stuck in my own head of what I think He should give me or do for me in my life.



Everything works together for good for those who love the Lord. -Romans 8:28



Special K would then remind me of the scripture quoted above. Remind me that no matter what is going on in my life, He loves me and therefore all things would come together for good in my life in His Perfect Time (which is usually where I get into trouble because I have my time stuck in my head lol).



This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad. -Psalm 118:24



My family has again been reminded of this special message today. God has perfectly orchestrated something so sweet and kind. We almost missed it because we had our hearts set on something else, but we felt Him tugging, telling us to wait and be patient. Thankfully we did - just not with a thankful heart because we got stuck on what we thought would be just great. But, now we see. We see what He had in mind. And while talking and reflecting on the last week or so, we kind of chuckle to ourselves. We laugh only because we are grateful. We laugh because we are in awe at how much He loves us and how patient He is with us (again!)! We laugh because we know we didn’t start off in perfect obedience to His Will but he nudged us ever so clearly when we most needed it. And I think we mostly laugh out of relief. Relief that He is our God. Our God who makes loving promises and keeps them. Our God who has infinite Mercy. Our God who is Perfect Love and shares that with us through such amazing grace.


So now, our hearts are filled with gratitude again. We are in that place where we feel so much peace. Peace that only He can share.


Thank you, Special K


I thank Sister for reminding me to try and keep a thankful heart at all times. Literally, almost every meeting we had, we would talk about what I could be thankful for. And that reality filled with gratitude would ultimately have me leaving her a much more peaceful and excited child of God. A child of God with a thankful heart that drives her to trust The God who He keeps His promises rather than forget that He ever made them in the first place (which I so easily do in my own self absorbed way of thinking).


Thank you, God


So, thank you God for loving this family. Thank you, dear Lord, for sharing the Grace that we needed to follow your Will. Thank you Lord, for your handmaid, Special K. And lastly, thank you for everything under the sun - always.


note: this isn’t the last you’ll be hearing about Special K ;)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Mother's Prayer

Father in Heaven,

Grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity
which you have conferred on me.
Let me realize that not even the Angels
have been blessed with such a privilege—
to share in your creative miracle
and bring new Saints to Heaven.
Make me a good mother to all my children
after the example of Mary,
the Mother of your Son.
Through the intercession of Mary
I ask your continued blessings on my family.
Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth
and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in Heaven.

Amen.

He’s such a sweet boy! Lately, every time either of us bring him tolaughter like this he ends up getting hiccups - poor baby!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This new translation is a graced opportunity for us to be catechized inthe mystery of the Mass. Sometimes, if we do something over and over,it becomes so familiar that we lose sight of the true meaning of whatwe are doing and the mystery we are celebrating. (Just think about howoften we “rattled off” the Gloria or the Creed or the Our Father and,afterwards, could not remember what we said.) Now is a good time topray, study, and reflect on the great mystery of the Mass in which thelife, death, and resurrection of Jesus is made present through thepower of the Holy Spirit. If we are just physically present and quicklyrecite words or make gestures we do not understand, then we are nottransformed more into the likeness of Christ. -Bishop Curtis Guillory

Just as two friends, frequently in each other’s company, tend todevelop similar habits, so too, by holding familiar converse with Jesusand the Blessed Virgin, by meditation on the mysteries of the Rosaryand by living the same life in Holy Communion, we can become, to theextent of our lowliness, similar to them. -Blessed Bartolo Longo

Just as two friends, frequently in each other’s company, tend to develop similar habits, so too, by holding familiar converse with Jesus and the Blessed Virgin, by meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary and by living the same life in Holy Communion, we can become, to the extent of our lowliness, similar to them.
Blessed Bartolo Longo (via catholic-inspiration)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. -Blessed Mother Teresa

Baby Boy is 3 months!

Our little Bigfoot is now a full 3 months!

Time. So very sweet and yet so very fast! I wish I could capture each moment in my heart and put it on rewind whenever I wanted. This little one is truly a bundle filled with Joy to share with everyone! Even when he isn’t smiling, giggling, or doing some silly thing to tug at our hearts, does he share his sweet baby Joy.

So, my dearest Bigfoot, Mama and Daddy have talked about it and we think you should slow your aging down (if it all possible). All this snuggling, smiling, and cooing goodness just needs to stick around for at least another 5 years or so ;) Let us know what your plan of action is and we will support you any and every way possible!

(insert Bigfoot’s confused but pensive picture below)


But in all seriousness, if you haven’t gotten the gist of this post, these past 3 months have just flown by. This third month is filled with no less goodness than the last two. In fact, I just feel as each month of growth passes, new and exciting occurrences take place just as much as in the last that make me feel just as happy and excited for his life and each new day. Now, I’m sure you might be thinking, “Duh, Amanda, that’s what happens when babies grow. They learn and do new things all the time.” Fair enough. But, this Mama is just soaking it all in with fresh eyes and an open heart. I guess, I’m just in awe and in love with my front seat tickets to this beautiful boys life.


Now, let’s talk about all the fun things/experiences you’ve had/been up to this past month!

-You’ve regularly been partaking in Family Grill Friday’s :D You sit beside Mama and Daddy at the table while we chow down on some BBQ you’re Daddy makes us. Food that I know you will enjoy once those chompers come in!

-You have attended a couple more Girl’s Night Dallas nights with Mama. Mama has had fun while you’ve enjoyed being held by other kind and caring arms :)

-Mama and Daddy went to a movie! You stayed with Uncle Godfather. You all had lots of fun. I know he loves you tons! and, I think you’re pretty excited about him too :D

-Nana had a Birthday and so did Nonna! You can definitely make these ladies hearts smile so big! They love you so much, my little one.

-You’ve been going to Bible Study with Daddy and Mama every Thursday night :) You got a little fussy when Daddy and Mama led. Maybe we just weren’t giving you the attention you were wanting ;) - but, you were great when we hosted!

-haha Daddy thought it would be worthwhile to share his geekiness with you in the form of an animated Pick-A-Boo game on our touchpad. You seemed pretty mesmerized. He also slipped in a quick lesson on Angry Birds lol


-You watched your first Aggie football game! Whoop! We were with good friends and even though you were probably mostly confused, know that Aggie football will definitely be a part of your life.

-You had your first Labor day! We spent the day with some wonderful friends who just love you!

-You know the sound of our voices. In a crowded room you will look my or Daddy’s way when we’re talking…so sweet!

-You also watched your first Dallas Cowboy game! Another team you will definitely become very familiar with. Every man in your life will make sure of that :)

-Sweetheart, you rolled over from tummy to back! Mama was so proud and excited for you! I love seeing your determination and focus.


-And, you are getting pretty good at tummy time! You always start off with smiles, that lead to a serious ‘I’m putting forth all my effort’ face, that leads to the ‘I’m still trying, but I’m getting tired! face, that ultimately leads to the ‘pleaseee pick me up’ plea :)

-You’ve been working on that hand/eye coordination by batting at the hanging toys in your Einstein gym.

-Bigfoot, Great Grandma, who was Nonna’s mama, passed away. We are very sad that she is gone and will definitely miss her and her wonderful personality and amazing love. Know that she loved you so much. Know that she was so grateful that she got to meet you. Know that you have a sweet soul in Heaven praying for you all the days of your life. We made it to her funeral. Daddy and Uncle Longhorn gave the Eulogy. You would be so proud.

Bigfoot, when you are older, ask me about your great grandma. Daddy and I would love to share her with you.

-One things for sure, you were quite the talky baby at Great Grandma’s Rosary. Maybe you were trying to join in on the prayers? :)

-You still smile and giggle all throughout the day making my vocation the greatest joy for me.

-Your awesome second cousins who are living in Japan sent you some love! So we showered you with it all :D


-You’re ticklish! Daddy’s hairy chin tickles your feet and you laugh your precious baby laugh! or I tickle your sides or tummy and you just start giggling. It’s so great! We’ll show you the videos of your cuteness when you’re older.

-According to Carter’s baby clothes you are supposed to be between 6 and 9 months of life (because that is the present size of clothes you are wearing). Maybe I should call them and let them know their sizes are a bit off? haha that or you’re just living up to your Bigfoot ways.

-We are full time cloth diapering and loving it. I love your fluffy butt, love that we have only had a leak or two (only because I hadn’t adjusted the fit well enough), love your fluffy bum, and love all the money we are saving every week! And of course, it’s a plus on how environment friendly they are. We have yet to buy any disposables and actually still have some sposies left from our baby shower way back when lol

-We also are now using cloth wipies! They are so easy and are so much better for your bum. You are finally diaper rash free since we’ve been cloth diapering and using cloth wipes. This makes us both happy*

-Oh! You love bath time! You are always so soothed and calm looking after you’ve had  bath. Hope you still love bath time every new year of your life until forever :D


-hmm, what else? You are cooing soo much! I can tell you are really enjoying finding your voice. Keep it up lil’ man, I love hearing it!

-You have quite the grasp. And pretty great eye contact. You definitely aren’t losing any staring contests as of late.

-You have the cutest stretch routine after naps and waking from any sleep for that matter.


-And finally, you are technically sleeping through the night. I read somewhere that STTN is considered 5-6 hours. You have that bit down. You’ve also thrown in some 9 hour nights, 8 hour nights, and quite a few 7 hour nights. So you are well on your way little one :)

Alright, my little one. Don’t forget to figure out the plan of action for slowing down time since you are growing up way too fast! :) It’s crazy to think how much has happened in these past months and even crazier to think what that means for the months to come.

(insert distant look into the future with the childish grin of mischief below)


Bring it on, Son. We’re as ready as we’ll ever be. And definitely loving *every* precious moment.

ily, my Bigfoot.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

True Love


True Love - Phil Wickham from Jody Hill {Ezekiel Productions} on Vimeo.
Thissong was played at our wedding Mass during Holy Communion. :) A beautiful song for an incredibly beautiful day! “Jesus is Alive!” :D ily, Husband. always.

ily



I remember when we began….and it makes my heart smile.

i love you, GeekMan.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

All you wish to know...

I wondered why the Evangelists, after having spoken about John the Baptist and the Apostles in great length, skimmed over the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, although she exceeds them ad infinitum by her excellence and her virtue. Why, I asked myself, have they told us nothing of her birth, her education, her habits, her daily life with her Son, her life with the Apostles after the Resurrection of the Lord? …


The Holy Spirit has not depicted her in the Holy Letters, to leave it up to you to make your own idea, so that you discover that absolutely nothing is lacking in her grace, perfection and glory that the Holy Spirit is capable of conceiving in a pure creature. What is more, she exceeds all thought and intelligence. Therefore, after telling us the entire story, it was useless to write down the bits and pieces; all the more so as we may have conjured up the belief that any omitted compliment in the writings meant that she did not possess that virtue.


If God Almighty has so marvelously decorated the ministers and servants of His house with such gifts and virtues, what in your mind has He done for His Mother? What has He given that unique spouse, chosen among all women and loved above all?


Therefore, I conclude that all you wish to know about the Blessed Virgin, you will find contained in these few words: Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary. This is her story - it’s a very long and interesting story.


St Thomas de Villeneuve (1488-1555)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Grant, O God...

GeekMan’s grandmother passed away Saturday evening. I don’t have much to say about it all right now, but a good friend shared this scripture with me and so I thought I’d share it here to remember.


Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned to joy. -John 16:20


I also found this prayer. I’m grateful for prayers like this in times where I can’t find the words to pray.


Grant, O God, that while we lament the departure of this Thy handmaid, we may always remember that we are most certainly to follow her. And give us grace to prepare for that last hour by a good life, that we may not be surprised by a sudden and unprovided death, but be ever watching, that, when Thou callest, we may, with the Bridegroom, enter into eternal glory: through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Sweet Lord, share your healing peace with us and our family; and thank you for the gift in the life of Bigfoot’s great grandma.

Come Holy Spirit.

Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee to we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.


V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, Who by the working of the Holy Spirit didst prepare both body and soul of the glorious Virgin Mother, Mary, that she might deserve to be made a worthy dwelling for Thy Son, grant that we who rejoice in her memory, may, by her loving intercession, be delivered from present evils and from lasting death, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen by Danielle Rose on Grooveshark

Saturday, September 17, 2011

You keep us waiting

You keep us waiting, You, the God of all time, want us to wait for the right time In which to discover who we are, where we must go, Who will be with us, and what we must do. So, thank you…for the waiting time.


You keep us looking, You, the God of space, want us to look in the right and wrong places For signs of hope, for people who are hopeless, For visions of a better world that will appear Among the disappointments of the world we know. So, thank you…for the looking time.


You keep us loving, You, the God whose name is love, want us to be like you — To love the loveless and unlovely and the unlovable; To love without jealousy or design or threat, And most difficult of all, to love ourselves. So, thank you…for the loving time.


And in all this you keep us, Through hard questions with no easy answers; Through failing where we hoped to succeed And making an impact when we felt useless; Through the patience and the dreams and the love of others; And through Jesus Christ and his Spirit, You keep us.


Amen.

The Iona Community in Scotland

Friday, September 16, 2011

A beautiful Danielle Rose song that my Mother in Law recentlyintroduced to me. Thought I’d share it on her birthday! Happy Birthday,sweet MiL :)


A beautiful Danielle Rose song that my Mother in Law recently introduced to me.

Thought I’d share it on her birthday!

Happy Birthday, sweet MiL :)

oh sweet baby




Baby Bigfoot has turned over!!! It happened with no warning whatsoever just four days ago! I never knew what to expect when I would see my little man turn over, but it was such a moment! Probably because I was caught off guard and wasn’t expecting it, but I was absolutely elated! I even got teary eyed I was so happy and proud.



*AND* on top of the fun turn over (tummy to back), Bigfoot is consistently sleeping for 6-7 hour stretches! Also, last night, he slept for a whopping *nine* HOURS! I kept waking up between hour six and hour nine wondering if this was really happening lol Needless to say, but I am a huge fan of this new skill and look forward to him getting more sleepy time during the night.


So, on top of all the smiles and baby laughter, our little man has added these two fun new skills to his repertoire.

Love,

Bigfoot’s biggest fan :-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years ago...

10 years ago I was waking up in my dorm room to go to my 8AM class. My radio alarm went off and I heard of the attacks. I then immediately turned on the TV only to watch the second crash. Everything seemed so surreal. I managed to eventually get dressed and went to my 8AM class a bit late only to be released due to the tragedy that was taking place on American soil.

I immediately returned to my dorm and was glued to the tv with tears streaming continuously. I made phone calls to my family who were away all the while being thankful that my best friend from back home was my roommate. She was a piece of home during this difficult time.We went about our day in a fog, trying to comprehend the reality that was before us.

My prayers are with all those who lost their lives that day and the families who had to endure the terrible suffering that plagued our eyes and hearts that day.

I will never forget.

9.11.01

What were you doing that day?

Ground Zero



sermoveritas:
This is the cross that was retrieved from Ground Zero.

Friday, September 9, 2011

But while we are co-operating with God we must never cease to followHis direction and lean upon Him. To act in this way is to act withassurance and consequently with calm. When one looks upon oneself inall one’s actions as the instrument of Divine Providence and aims atnothing but fulfilling God’s designs, one acts gently, without troubleor hurry, without disquiet about the future or regret for the past,abandoning oneself to God’s fatherly Providence and counting on it morethan on all possible human means. In that way, one is always at peace,and God unfailingly directs everything for our good, either temporal oreternal, and sometimes for both. -Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

childhood // sunshine smiles





just sharing my sunshine :-)

blessed monotony

He awakens. He stretches. He smiles. He coos. He snuggles. He eats. He smiles. We have some play time. He observes. He turns his head to my voice. He smiles. He gets tired. He takes his nap.

The above put on repeat is what my days are filled with - mixed in with:

Smiles when I kiss his toesies. Smiles when he’s falling asleep. Smiles when you make funny noises, when daddy gets home, when he hears daddy’s voice and more. He giggles when daddy rubs his scruffy beard on the bottoms of his feet and smiles at a good book. This one. He smiles.

Are you seeing a pattern here?

Bigfoot has been such a gift to us. The more days pass, the more the goodness of being this little man’s mama fills me. Undeservedly, I get to enjoy the oodles of pure goodness that just pours forth from the little life that was once within my womb. By the grace of God and only by His grace have I been able to cooperate with my God in such a beautiful way.

My son fills my heart with so much happiness and all I feel called to do is love Bigfoot - love him the very best that I humanly can so that he may come to know the loving God that created him. The kind Lord who shared him with us in the first place.

I’m so thankful for my vocation. I love being Geekman’s wife and I love being Bigfoot’s mama. I’m thankful for where we are as a family. And I’m thankful for each moment that I get to experience everyday. Granted, not every moment is sunshine and laughter,but those are the moments that bring me closer to the woman I am called to be according to Him.

When he cries, I get to hold and comfort him. When he’s fussy because he’s tired I get to rock him, bounce with him, and whatever else that will bring him calm. When he leaves me presents in his diaper I clean him/change him and call him “stinky butt” (which usually gets a smile that makes diaper changes kinda fun). When he wakes up in the middle of the night I get him, feed him and put him back to sleep. When he wants to be held I hold him. When he wants me to stand and not sit, I stand (I think babies have radars that alerts them the moment you even think about sitting and triggers a particular cry that ultimately translates to “stand or my cry will escalate”). And the list goes on.

So, I guess, in writing this post, I wanted to share my happy heart with all of you. And also, share it with myself as a reminder. A post I can return to during those times of sleep deprivation, fussiness, my laziness, my selfishness, my weaknesses, my crankiness, and all the other not great things about me that come up and prevent me from truly embracing the good in everything. A post that will remind me that I am exactly where I want to be and where I am called to be. A truth that is beautiful because it is of Him who loves me.

childhood // linus is four

Our resident knight turned four. He is the sweetest little gift jam-packed with adventure, bravery, love, fierceness, courage, creativity, i...