My Sunday Best {3}

Happy Monday Afternoon everyone! I did mean to write this yesterday, but I also needed to run to the grocery store before the pharmacy closed to pick up hubby’s medicine. And then it was dinner. Then it was a quick visit to my parents to see my grandparents. Then kids to bed. Then Game of Thrones. Then it was too late to start anything on the computer.

So. Here I am on Monday afternoon with 42 minutes left of nap time to get a post in 🙂

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I promise I’m not pregnant. I guess I’m just in the habit of holding my shirt tight to my belly? Left over baby love for all you folks to see…

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Including him here because he slept on me all during Mass. Really, that wasn’t a bad thing. At least it kept him from trying to wander in, over and around the pews.

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She needed in on the action!
Many thanks to my sister-in-law for her sense of style. She (SIL) gave Kat this dress last year  and she (Kat) very specifically told me a few weeks ago that she wanted to wear a dress with legging-pants and heels (no tights) so she could be like Mimi (SIL)…. And I’m over here still wearing the same $10 skirt I bought at Wal-Mart 15 some odd years ago….

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Needing to share some happy news this week (in absolutely no order of importance, just order of occurrence)

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My Sister-in-Law (a different one than mentioned above) had her baby! Titus William joined our extended Holloway family on Thursday! Kat asked me if we could go see him… I wish baby girl… Oh how I wish… but Georgia is just too far to jump in the car for a quick visit.

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One of my cousins was married on Saturday! Congratulations Judson and Megan, many prayers and blessings as you begin your life together! ❤

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My brother Santi graduated with his Bachelors in Engineering yesterday! Congratulations Santi! I know how much work school is when one is living at home with no family responsibilities or full time job, so I can’t imagine working on a degree with a wife, two kids, a house, and multiple jobs…. So happy for you ❤

I was thinking about all these events a few days back, and thought about posting them here on the blog. And was trying to decide if that was something I should do and what would people say if I did (really? maybe I think too much about these things some times). I figured people would probably just say congratulations, but then it isn’t really me that should be getting congratulated, is it??, etc.. (……my mind folks…. just my mind…)

Then it came to me that we are all family, so there is cause for all of us to be congratulated! When one celebrates we all celebrate with them; when one is happy we all are happy for them; when one is sad we’re all sad together with them.
This all reminded me of the first time I realized how connected we as Catholics, and all Christians, are. I was at Daily Mass (how so very grateful I was that day for Daily Mass), and my heart was so heavy (it was when one of my little cousins had cancer and they didn’t think he would make it). So I went specifically to pray for this intention. We were at the prayers of the people (don’t know if that’s the correct term), but there’s a line where the deacon says “… for all the intentions held within the hearts of those gathered” at that moment I wanted to get up and yell at everyone there to “pray for MY intention, please… It is so so important” (Not that other intentions aren’t I just was very emotionally wrapped up in praying for my cousin). But as soon as I yelled in my mind at everyone we all responded “Lord, hear OUR prayer” and I knew in that moment that everyone was praying for my intention and I was praying for all of theirs.
Anyway, it was a very moving and powerful realization, and I felt a little bit of that this weekend when I was reviewing the events of the week and how closely we all are tied together in… life.

Guess Z. is not going to nap, but on the bonus side that means an early bedtime 🙂

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Linking with Rosie’s Link-Up My Sunday Best

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My Sunday Best {1}

Happy Pentecost to everyone! I ummm, didn’t wear red. Nothing that fits at the moment. Well, I did actually have a red sweater in my closet, but it was just too Christmas-y/winter-y so I couldn’t bring myself to wear it.

 

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Brown on hunter green with a grey sweater? And flip-flops because….. Well, I’ll just start at the beginning.

Zachary (18 months) decided that pre-5:00 AM was perfect for waking up. I let him try and work it out in his crib because I am decidedly against pre-5:00 AM wake-ups. (I managed a few more small chunks of “sleep” and we made it until 6:00.) {Lack of Sleep}

Mass this morning was a combined Spanish/English service which started a little over an hour after our regular Mass time. Not really a problem, just throws the schedule off a bit. For example, you know how when you have an extra hour to do something, you *think* you have plenty of time to get things done… so you wait, and wait (and wait) until too late to start doing said thing and then end up rushing? Yeah. That was this morning.

Nice leisurely breakfast of cold cereal well before time to get ready.

Time to do not one, but two loads of desperately needing to be done laundry (99% of the time I don’t actually do laundry on Sunday… that whole Day of Rest thing… but today fell into that 1%). As I was getting the second load out to dry (diapers do so much better in the sun), I realized that time was too close.

I can’t even remember what the 45 minutes looked like between that load of laundry and getting in the car. Except for one very specific thought (just ONE) and that was to make sure I changed my flip-flops before we left. (That didn’t happen).

But, we all made it to Mass. Our Pentecost service is outdoors. This year was in a big covered, event tent which was fine. It was a bit on the windy side (I pretty much kept thinking the Holy Spirit must have been blowing in/out/around…) which is super loud in those things, especially if you’re right near the edge. Kids, did really well, Z especially. There were only two reeeeealllllly long walks to the bathroom. And only one outfit change.

We did end up skipping the picnic after. Just too much for us today. And while I’m not a huge fan of the outdoor Masses (although, I do think the covered tent is better than straight parking lot in the blistering sun), I really enjoy having the combined English/Spanish service. And, there was just something really special about the Mass today.. Maybe it was the Holy Spirit moving after all.

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Linking with Rosie and her new Link-Up My Sunday Best

My Sunday Best {1}

My Sunday Best

Sorry folks, I have absolutely no details on my outfit. I know I picked up my sweater at Savers a few months back. Ant the skirt and shirt are maternity clothes that have had their first and possibly only wearing this round of pregnancy/post-partum. They still fit, but they’re on their way back into the big storage bin in the attic.

Johny was my photographer of the day. I actually had already changed from Mass (since… cold)… But then I remembered I wanted to make this post this week, so I quick changed and had him snap the photo during nap time (he was glad to “not nap” for a few minutes).

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I mentioned above that my maternity clothes are heading back into storage soon. And some of the baby clothes are already too small (hello 3-6 month clothes!) so they’ve been put away too. Put away for what?

Well…. a potential future baby.

Every time I’ve put an article of clothing away, I find myself thinking “…until next time”, then I’m like, wait! What? Next Time? You mean, I’m going to use these again?

And while I don’t know 100% for sure if we’ll have another baby (I’m not God), it seems likely given my age – I’m all of 30 years (plus 137 days) old and we’re Catholic and open to life (also open to spacing, so no babies right away, unless God throws a curve ball) but, we also just like babies. We like kids.

Yes, they’re a lot of work, but I think we’re finally getting to the point where for some of the kids (the older three), the hands-on work part is getting a lot less. There are other things we’re doing now, but the physically exhausting part is not quite so much with them now.

{Side note: I was at Mass a few weeks ago, by myself with the older kids and the baby. Someone else was holding the baby, Katherine went to Childrens Liturgy and the boys were writing on the bulletin without squabbling over the pen and I felt like I had a nice little break to listen to the homily. That doesn’t seem to happen all the time, but Mass felt “easy” for the first time in a while.}

But back to my train of thought…

The thought of having more kids used to make me really nervous. Not the actual having more children (the number of kids has never really bothered me), but the being pregnant aspect of having more kids. It’s always been hard for me. Physically the pregnancies have been not so bad, but mentally/emotionally they’ve been a lot harder, especially the last two.

One thing that really helped me to be much calmer about the possibility of more children was being part of a few Facebook groups where the mamas there were on baby #6, or #7 or… #10. You know, like…solidarity. But more than a “if they can do it I can do it” thing (because I don’t think I’m called to just have as many babies as possible), but more of a “other mamas have done it and survived” sort of thing. Other mamas have lived their faith and it’s been ok. And it gives me peace of mind for an eventual next baby.

Plus…. Katherine still wants a sister. 🙂

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Linking with Rosie and her new Link-Up My Sunday Best

Nicholas James: A Baptism in Photos

Baptism Post

We baptized Nicholas on Saturday, April 16 at 12:00 PM. It was a “private” baptism, in that we didn’t do it as part of the Sunday Mass (which is the norm at our parish). But, this time worked best for everyone, so that’s what we did.

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Slightly awkward moment, when the Father asked “what do you ask of God’s church?”. The answer is “Baptism”, but….. we can never seem to remember that one word.

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{Reading of the Word}

Reading of the Word

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{Scenes from the Homily.. hover over each photo to see caption}

{Anointing with Oil}
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{Blessing over Baptismal Water}
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{Baptism}

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This is the point in the ceremony where I tend to realize just how HUGE of thing we’ve just done.

Especially the part about promising to raise the child in the faith. I think I felt something similar with the first baby we had baptized, but now that we have older kids and I’ve spent some time trying to teach them… everything… I realize just how hard of a task it is that we promise to do.

And I won’t lie, I definitely felt a bit overwhelmed when we spoke those words this time. But as Father so comfortingly pointed out, we’re not alone in this. We have the Godparents and the Church to walk with us.  I remember thinking “thank goodness we have Godparents who have been Catholic longer than we have and have grown kids already and know what they’re doing”.

{Anointing with Chrism of Salvation}
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Probably my favorite picture of the day.

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{Light of Christ}

{Blessing the Mother}
Baptism Post-25There was also a blessing of the Father (and the of all gathered), but no photos of that.

{Comedic Break}
This little guy just barely made it through

{After Photos}

Book Review: A Single Bead

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I had the opportunity recently to review this new young adult novel, A Single Bead by Stephanie Engelman. It is published by Pauline Books and Media and set to release in January 2016.

It follows the story of Kate, a teen who lost her grandmother in a tragic accident. During a memorial service she happens upon a single bead from her grandmother’s rosary. Throughout the story she finds others who have found beads from the rosary and discovers that many miracles have occurred for those who’ve found them.

This story was surprisingly engaging. It flowed really well and was very thought provoking. Even though it was a work of fiction it definitely challenged my thinking on the power of praying the rosary. Personally, praying the rosary is a devotion which I go back and forth on. Once I begin and/or finish a rosary I find that I am much more at peace, as is Kate in the book. But the mental block to even starting one (and the excuses that come with it) can really be a big hurdle.

I would say the book is written with a young-middle teen audience in mind, but even though, I think sometimes we just need to hear things simply. Sometimes we have the tendency to over-complicate messages. The book does a great job of “showcasing” the power of prayer in a simple and easy to follow way.

A quote that I keep coming back to:

“I think all of this is reminding us that we’re all connected, and that even one single prayer – one Our Father or one Hail Mary – counts. That’s the power of a single bead.” {emphasis mine}

I love how this ties in – in a very real and tangible way – how each bead is more than “just a bead”, it’s a very powerful prayer. Which I have a tendency to forget in the day to day, and I’m glad for this book to remind me of. 🙂

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I received this book free in exchange for my honest review.

Stephanie Engelman blogs over at A Few Beads Short or she can be found here on Facebook