Laughing, Weeping, Living

Life happens. You laugh about it or cry about it, sometimes both.

What I Wore Sunday: October 13

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple. I missed the link up last week but I’m happy to be back today.

Imma get the most exciting news out of the way first. Stephen now eats eggs again! Wooooo! This expands his meal repertoire by about 15% so I’m pretty happy.

Ha, I bet you were all expecting an Agnes update to be the “most exciting.” Well, I am happy to report that she has made great progress in the last 24 hours. For those of you just tuning in, Agnes went to have a shunt placed on Tuesday which went off perfectly fabulously, except she had some post-op complications that ended up with her in the Pediatric ICU dependent on a ventilator while she recovers from aspiration pneumonia. She has been getting x-rays to follow the healing progress of her lungs, and the scan from this morning showed noticeable improvement. The doctor was also able to reduce the settings on the ventilator with the hopeful goal of switching her to CPAP support by tonight or tomorrow morning, and off all machine-assisted respiration by later tomorrow.

100_1815So, long story short, we went to Liturgy this morning with only one kiddo in tow. I took the opportunity to sing with the choir while Jeremy wrangled Stephen in the pew. I guess it was all going fine with Stephen playing with his little friend Yuri, but after about 40 minutes a fight broke out regarding Yuri’s toy trucks he had brought. I did hear a little commotion from up in the choir loft…

Today I am wearing a mystery garment from the Savers thrift store in Albuquerque, NM. The tags have been removed; a common phenomenon with thrift store clothes for some reason. The dress has not disintegrated in the wash, so I continue to enjoy it. I wore this dress when I was pregnant with Agnes, and now that I am just the tiniest bit thinner, I just cinch the tie in the back a little more and it still fits. And my footwear….black Minnetonka Moccasins! It’s been warm again so I’m back to my trusty moccasins. Hopefully soon it will be cool enough for my pretty new boots.

My choices were pretty limited for wardrobe this morning because we have an overflowing laundry hamper, and most of the clothes in my closet are actually not fit to be worn. Yesterday I went through and removed all the maternity clothes I have no intention of wearing until I am pregnant again, as well as all the items that don’t fit right and I don’t foresee them fitting in the near future. That leaves me with about six tops, six to eight skirts, and maybe four dresses, plus whatever is in the hamper that I wore this week. That should be fine for me for a while. Maybe I won’t feel like I have nothing to wear because even though there aren’t many choices in the closet, I can choose any one of them. Before, I would flip through the hangers, rejecting all the options. I remember when we took our road trip from New Mexico to Ohio, we lived out of suitcases for like three to four weeks. That proves I don’t really need a lot of clothes.

I think that’s all I will write for now. Hopefully this week I will have some more good news about Agnes, and I will keep you updated. Also later this week, look for a new page on my blog. I’m thinking of projects to help my family while Jeremy is working hard at nursing school.

Thanks for reading, see you around the webs!


Recap The Awful Year

Okay, I’m only going to do this once and get it off my chest. But geez louise could something good happen around here? We are due for something positive without even the slightest hint of double-edged swordiness.

Thank you, facebook.

I am going to recap this past year, and I’ll be totally honest with all y’all, it’s going to be a bit of a pity party. I know the people who are in my life already know the extent to which this year has totally sucked ass monkeys, but I’m hoping this exercise will be cathartic and help me to move forward.

May 2012: Our “year” started more than a year ago. We found out we were expecting a baby! A week after that news, we found out Jeremy’s job was being eliminated and we would have to leave Billings, MT. At least his boss gave him plenty of head’s up.

June 2012: Our baby miscarried. We named him Joseph Mary. The worst part was we had just made the Big Announcement that we were expecting so we had to be all like “just kidding.” It was bad.

July 2012: Despite numerous resumes sent all over the nation, no job offers yet. Around this time I started a good habit of walking approximately 2 miles every morning around the scenic neighborhoods of Billings, with Stephen tagging along in the stroller. That was nice.

August 2012: We sold our better car to help finance our upcoming move to a Place that was Yet to be Revealed to us.

September 2012: We put our perfect house on the market and moved away from Billings to Rio Rancho, NM for the sole reason that Rio Rancho was the only place to offer Jeremy a job. I wouldn’t recommend that strategy to anyone. Also in September we found out we were expecting a baby! Because of this, it becomes impossible for me to secure health insurance in New Mexico because insurance companies will not accept new clients with a “preexisting condition.” Such as pregnancy. We resorted to Medicaid and thank God we did. It was one of the better choices we made this past year.

October 2012: Our house wasn’t sold yet, so we were paying a mortgage payment plus rent on an apartment that turned out being more expensive than we had thought it would be. We made some great friends through our church, and that was really nice.

November 2012: Jeremy stoped receiving new assignments in the mail from Magnificat. It was clear that after 5 years as a solid employee, they were terminating his contract without offering any notice or reason. He supposed it must be related to internal company politics. At least they continued to send complimentary subscriptions to our home.

December 2012: We discover that for some reason, it is not possible for us to run the heat in our apartment if we also want to take a hot shower. We may have started noticing this in November, but now it’s really starting to get old. Also in December, we get a solid offer on our house in Billings! Things keep getting slowed down for one reason or another so we don’t actually close the sale.

January 2013: We sold the house in Billings! Whew, now it will slip onto 2013 tax year filings which is actually extremely fortunate. Also in January, Jeremy has a meeting with his boss during which his boss pretty much tells him he is doing a horrible job at work. Without offering any positive feedback or ways Jeremy can improve his performance. I think the complaint boiled down to Jeremy wasn’t kicking enough kids out of the church religious education program. Or something. Sorry folks, it’s the truth. Around this time we realize that we are deeply unhappy and we start seriously considering moving away from New Mexico, but we resolve to give it at least a full year before we decide. Also in January, Jeremy and I join a class at church that will walk us through the process to renew our consecration to Mary.

February 2013: We find out there is Something Wrong with our baby. The perinatologist outlines some stark possibilities and recommends for us to move before baby is born if moving is what we want to do. We reconsecrate our family to Mary. “To Jesus, through Mary!” We need all the graces we can get.

March 2013: Every time we go for a prenatal appointment there is more hard news. We also get all our papers together for filing taxes. At least we don’t have to file a house sale. We also decide definitively to move. Jeremy gives 30 days notice at work and his boss tells him to clear out immediately. I’m paraphrasing. Jeremy’s car needs an expensive repair to make it road trip worthy. We have to sell our piano because we can’t afford to move it again.

April 2013: Taxes are a bitch and a half. We have to break our lease contract to move out now, so we also get hit hard by the management company. They don’t consider losing your job and a medical hardship grounds for waiving fees. At least they agree to let us pay over 4 months and they don’t charge interest. Moving cleans out our bank account. Goodbye savings. Goodbye house sale profits. Goodbye all the generous gifts our amazing family and friends bestowed upon us. Thank God for our amazing family and friends who helped us in our need. We road tripped to Ohio and that was really nice.

May 2013: We moved in with my parents thanks to their generosity. Lots of prenatal appointments for Agnes, with bad news becoming the norm. U-haul over charges for our “u-boxes,” you know, like we can afford extra expenses. We place both our student loans in forbearance and I transfer the last $20 from savings into checking so our check to Costco doesn’t bounce. Thank God I did it in time. At least it wasn’t too difficult to get set up on Ohio Medicaid and they even gave us food assistance. Without those government programs, we would be done for. I don’t care what you think about “hand outs” but I am extremely grateful for those programs. I’m sorry I’m stealing your hard-earned paychecks. Also in May, Jeremy picks up a part time gig as a pizza delivery driver.

June 2013: Still paying off the apartment management company in Rio Rancho. Still banking frequent-visitor points at the hospital. Still trying to find things that are boxed up from the move. More bad news about Agnes. Whatevs, bring it. Agnes is born! Let the fun begin. We practically live at the hospital as Agnes endures surgeries and the complicated recovery. She is “chromosomally enhanced.” I like to think about it that way. I miss Stephen because I don’t get to spend much quality time with him right after Agnes’ birth.

July 2013: I’ve talked about all this stuff in depth elsewhere on the blog. We’re also still paying the Rio Rancho apartment managers $320.12 a month for 4 months. At least Agnes’ care is covered under Medicaid. Thank God for Medicaid. Agnes does start improving which is really nice. It must be because of all the wonderful prayers everyone sends up for her!

August 2013: Our year is still rolling. At least this month was our last payment to the Rio Rancho apartment. Now maybe we can start saving again. Jeremy’s car is broken again–the same thing that was supposedly fixed in March. Agnes just gets more and more complicated. Now she is getting a tracheostomy and a g-tube. The trach is going to necessitate around-the-clock vigilance which means a home health care professional will be spending the night here every night. For some reason, that upsets me more than the trach part. Jeremy has decided to go to nursing school himself, an idea that was maybe kicking around for a little while but finally decided when Agnes was in the NICU and we witnessed those nurses up-close.

I don’t know what the year will bring, but I’m hoping things will turn around. I’m also going to take real actions to make myself feel HAPPY again. Seriously, it’s been since May 2012 when I would say, “yes, I am generally a happy person and I like my life.” I’m going to join a gym, start following a household budget that includes savings again, try to make better eating choices, and join the church choir. Hopefully when I look back at this post in 3 or 4 months, I will wonder why I sounded so down.

Okay. I’m done. I got the complaining out of the way, now I’m going to go be positive. I’m positive. I’m positive.


Epic Road Trip: Hustle East and actually we’re home

Okay. So after we left Billings, MT we really booked the heck across the country. We drove from Billings to Richardton, ND where we spent one night at Assumption Abbey. Assumption is a men’s Benedictine community whose main industry is hospitality. They have a large guest house that used to be the dormitory for the school that closed back in the ’60’s. They rent rooms to groups and families at a very reasonable rate, plus then you can go to the liturgies which are always a breath of fresh air after you’ve been busy at life. We had a nice little stay with the monks.

Then we hustled to St. Joseph, MN just outside of St. Cloud. We spent one night there catching up with a couple friends we haven’t seen in a long time. It was great to hang out and chat with them.

Then we tried to leave St. Cloud, which was really difficult because all the on/off ramps to the interstate were closed for road construction. We ended up following a lengthy detour and getting on the interstate in Clearwater, a detour that added 30 or 40 minutes to our trip. But we were fortunate to buzz through Minneapolis when we did because as soon as we left apparently they got a Happy May Day snowstorm and the highways were closed because of all the snow fall. Ah, Minnesota.

We drove to Milwaukee and had a little time to visit with some more friends who live in a really cute neighborhood about three blocks from the shore of Lake Michigan. We were able to take a walk to the lake and stand on a hill, gazing at the vast ruffling waters. Then when we got tired of leaning against the bitter gusting wind, we went back to our friends’ house. It was a great little visit.

Then yesterday we drove from Milwaukee to Toledo, OH where we have some relatives. We were able to fairly breeze through Chicago, which was unexpected and very pleasant. We bought an I-Pass thingy for the Illinois tollways which made it super easy to get through the city. The I-Pass works everywhere EZ-Pass is accepted, which means it will work on the Ohio Turnpike. We will be using the turnpike a lot to get between my parents’ house and all my relatives in Toledo. Plus we have friends in Chicago and Pittsburgh, so we can use it to visit them, too. It was a good purchase. Anyway, we spent last night with some of my wonderful relatives, and we made the final short journey home this morning.

Maybe you are sensing that we’ve been pretty much either driving or sleeping this past week. Actually, I’m glad we did the trip this way, because we never had to drive an unreasonable length of time in one day. We got a few hours of decompression time in the evenings with our friends, then we were off the next morning, bright and early. Stephen did just marvelous in the car the whole trip. I think if we had had longer driving days it would not have gone so smoothly. As it was, he was able to mostly entertain himself with toys and playing silly games with whoever was in the front passenger seat. He took some naps and ate some snacks and looked out the window. I would do this again, but I will say I am very glad to have reached our final destination.

It doesn’t feel final for me yet. I still kind of think we’ll have to be up and on the way again in the morning. As soon as I can get a domestic routine going the better. I need to start cooking and doing some housework and I’ll settle in fine. Our U-boxes are being delivered on Tuesday and we’ll really get to start moving in. It will be an adventure to move back in with my parents and we’ll have to get used to living together. I think it will go okay; the animals are going to have the hardest time living together! They’ve been growling and scrabbling at each other a fair amount, trying to suss out a pecking order. Hopefully they get it worked out soon. They’ve come pretty far already since my cat arrived two weeks ago, but things are still a little testy. I’m hoping we can smuggle our cat into our bedroom tonight so we can sleep with our kitty again. I really missed our kitty Sashimi!

Now that we’ve made it home, I should be able to post every day again. Stay tuned for my riveting updates on moving in to my parents’ house and trying to apply for Medicaid with only approximately 8 weeks to go on the pregnancy. And I will be keeping you posted on the status of our little one. My first appointment with my new doc is Monday. Please keep praying! Especially for her to stay in her hot tub as long as possible so I have time to get on Medicaid!

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Epic Road Trip: Billings, MT

Sorry for the gap in posting, but it’s difficult to keep it up when we’re driving all day and spending the night at monasteries in the middle of nowhere Colorado, then we get to Billings and it would be rude to not visit with our lovely hosts!

So. After we left Littleton, CO we took a short trip north to the Abbey of St. Walburga in Virginia Dale, CO. The location is quite remote in the mountains just south of the Wyoming border. Jeremy lived there for a couple years helping the nuns on their cattle ranch, so he knows a bunch of the sisters. It was a nice stop to go there and see the holy ladies and spend some time attending liturgies in their beautiful chapel. Because of the location, our cell phones didn’t receive a signal and there was no internet connection for guests. That was  nice, too. After we ate and attended the final liturgy of the evening, we went back to the guest house and we each picked out a short spiritual book to read. Then we hung out reading in peace until bedtime. Then we went to bed early. It was great. We both finished our books, too! 

On Thursday morning, we packed up the car after mass and began our trip to Billings. It was a loooong day of driving. It took longer than I thought it would and we were all pretty tired of being in the car by the time we got to Billings. Stephen had a difficult day despite the allure of one of his brand new road trip toys. He did play with that thing for most of the trip, but he was being really ornery about eating so he got super mad toward 5pm and we had to pull off the side of the road at a “no services” exit to feed him. A guy drove up after a while to ask if we were okay. Yep, we’re fine, just a toddler meltdown is all. Then when we got back in the car, Stephen kind of whimpered and whined for the rest of the nearly two hours we were in the car. Jeremy was the real hero, entertaining Stephen with blocks, a monkey, a dog, and who knows what else. I was just focused on driving as fast as I dared to get to Billings as soon as possible.

Whew. It feels so good to finally be in Billings. Our hosts here are just so lovely. They are full of wonderful stories and are a very inspiring Catholic family. Our weekend so far has been relaxing, and comforting. Today, we are going to a large party to meet many of our old friends. I’m really looking forward to catching up with all the people we had to leave behind when we moved to New Mexico. Tomorrow we are going to mass at our good priest friend’s church, then moving across town to visit a family we were very close to, and still are. Then, we leave Billings on Monday morning. I expect it will be sad for me to leave Billings behind a second time, but I know I’ll have to get over it so hopefully it won’t last long. I really like it here. It feels like home to me.

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Epic Road Trip: Denver, CO

So here we are in Littleton, CO which is just south of Denver.

Our move out of the apartment went well. Several of our friends came over to help carry down boxes and furniture, and fit the puzzle pieces into our four U-boxes. We finished loading the boxes around noon which was awesome! Then some other friends came over in the afternoon to help clean the apartment which was so helpful. We were able to leave the place on Saturday around 4:30pm. All that was left for us to do on Sunday was wait for the U-boxes to be picked up, then turn in our apartment keys. Everything went smoothly.

The guys loaded up the boxes like 3-D puzzles.

The guys loaded up the boxes like 3-D puzzles.

It's really crammed in there.

It’s really crammed in there.

On Monday, we had a last minute doctor’s appointment which really had me nervous. I was afraid they would tell me I can’t go on a two week road trip. But everything was fine. They told me the only thing I needed to be concerned about was if I can’t feel baby movements like I normally do. So far so good. One piece of great news: at the appointment our baby’s head was finally tilted toward down! Hopefully she stays that way until birth. That will really increase my odds of avoiding a c-section.

So we made it through the first leg of our journey and we are officially on the road. We had good driving conditions for almost the whole trip yesterday. We only drove into snow about 5:00pm when we got to Colorado Springs. It did snow here all night, but I don’t think any more precipitation is forecast for the next couple days. Stephen was just wonderful in the car. He was able to entertain himself pretty well with his basket of toys, and we stopped at a couple playgrounds along the way so Stephen could run around a little before getting back in the car. He took a little nap too.

We are having a nice lazy visit with our friends here. I think we might go out and visit the local Ikea after lunch since I’ve never been to one. I know, that’s a strange family outing, but I think it will be fun. Tomorrow we head out again, just a short trip up to the Abbey of Saint Walburga just north of Fort Collins, CO. We’ll visit the nuns for a day before our next long leg of driving on Thursday.


I hope you enjoy this post

I’m very tired, so this will be brief-ish.

Today started with Stephen waking me up at 5:30am, which is like an hour to ninety minutes earlier than I really like, and about thirty minutes earlier than I can reasonable deal with. Then I spent all morning working on details for our road trip itinerary, following up and confirming with friends who are hosting us along the way, working out driving directions through Chicago, estimating times of arrival in different cities, etc. I did end up booking a hotel in the St. Cloud area since the friend I tried to contact about staying over for a night never replied to any of the messages I sent. Maybe her facebook message inbox doesn’t work, and maybe the two email addresses I tried are both obsolete. Or maybe she’s just very very busy and hasn’t gotten around to dashing off a return message. Maybe any of those are true, but what I really tend to jump to is that she hates me and is snubbing me. But that’s what my irrational mind always jumps to when a friend stops return communication. It’s probably not the case, but I tend to freak out. She probably just doesn’t want to be mean and say no to me, but trust me, it is much nicer to just come out and say it than to simply ignore me. Whatever I can imagine is going on is absolutely worse than what is actually going on. I don’t know if she reads my blog, but if she does y’all can consider this a call-out.

Then we spent the whole rest of the morning and afternoon shopping around for road trip supplies and a few items to get us through the last week and a half in our place. We drafted a menu and man, is it weird. I believe one of the meals on the menu is “whatever we can find.” So yeah.

100_1561Then Jeremy wanted to fly a kite with Stephen since they had just watched an episode of Curious George where they fly a kite. That meant we had to go buy a kite, then we could fly it. Stephen thought is was okay when Jeremy was trying to get it up in the air; that was pretty amusing. Then he watched it fly for a few minutes, then he ran off to dig in the sand with a bottle cap he found on the ground. This is where you’re supposed to say “a fun time was had by all” but that might be a bit of an exaggeration for this particular family fun activity. Jeremy said, “next time I’ll go fly a kite by myself” and that would probably be for the best.

And on top of that I wore a pair of shoes that is actually really uncomfortable, but I never remember this until after I’ve been wearing them for a few hours. It’s a bit disappointing because they’re Dansko clogs which are supposed to be the ultimate comfy shoe, but mine really aren’t. They make my toes feel numb if I wear them for a long time. Plus Stephen refused to take a nap even though he woke up so early. So.

And that’s it, that’s all I have for you fine folks this evening. Peace.


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Progress is Progressing

We’ve been spending most of our time plugging away at our moving to-do list. The most recent accomplishments are:

1. We cleared out our kitchen of all kinds of glassware, plastic storage tubs, extraneous spoons and gadgets and cutting boards, dry goods we won’t use and half-empty bottles of vinegar, etc. We also identified a few items we want to unload right before we pack up and leave. We’ll need them between now and then, but we won’t need them once we get to Ohio and move in with my gracious parents.

2. Jeremy cleaned the car. Picked out all the trash, dusted and polished the insides, washed the windows inside and out. It looks great and ready to go on a long, muddy, dusty road trip.

3. We decided where we are going to procure moving boxes and packing supplies. We looked at a bunch of different options, but the cheapest one ended up being good ol’ Lowe’s down the street. Their boxes are the least expensive and come in three very useful sizes. We had good forethought and saved all the specialty packing supplies from our last move. That means we won’t have to repurchase bubble sleeves for glassware, lamp boxes, picture boxes, or anything like that. We even saved a big roll of bubble wrap. Go us.

4. I got my medical files faxed over to the practice that will begin seeing me as soon as I get to Ohio, like literally almost the next day. Thanks to my mom for hooking me up with the doc, who just happens to have expertise in high-risk pregnancy. Plus they even accept Medicaid, and will even see me if I’m uninsured (all they want is a deposit that they will refund when I can finally produce proof of coverage).

5. One thing I haven’t done yet that is actually the most important is file an application for Ohio Medicaid. As far as I can see, it’s impossible to do before I actually get to Ohio. The online application they want you to fill out doesn’t leave space for soft answers. “Income: I don’t know? Medical expenses: I don’t know? County of residence: will be Summit county in 3 weeks?” I think I actually have to call and talk to someone and that is frankly a very terrifying prospect. As if it might even be possible to talk to a person at the Medicaid office. So I keep putting it off.

6. We are poised to cross off a few more list items by the end of the week, but we can’t do it quite yet. We are very close to being able to file our tax return. And we’re honing in on travel arrangements for the cat. We also need to hear back from two of our prospective overnight hosts on the road to confirm that we can stay with them. When those things happen, our list will be almost entirely completed!

Not much news from the docs this week. The only new information is that apparently our road trip perfectly coincides with the point in my pregnancy when the doctors will want to start seeing me really often to monitor the baby. So, my primary OB wasn’t too keen to hear that we plan to be on the road for two weeks. It’s also getting close to the crucial time when my docs may induce labor and delivery for the health of the baby. My doc here told me it isn’t likely I’ll carry my little girl past 38 weeks, and it could end much sooner than that if things start to look awful. It all depends on what my next ultrasound reveals. If the baby looks good and is still showing signs of development, we can road trip. If the baby doesn’t look good, they will want to start monitoring about twice a week. Which means I will be making last minute travel arrangements to get my butt to Ohio as soon as possible. That will be very expensive and inconvenient and a big fat bummer, so I hope the baby looks good and my road trip gets the green light. As it is, we’ve already planned to contract the second half of our trip so we get to Ohio sooner. We’ve already booked our trip through Billings, so I really hope we don’t have to alter that part of the trip. Or God forbid, skip the trip altogether.

Hoping, hoping, hoping….


Cake Research During National Bake Week

Yesterday was the kick off day for National Bake Week! In honor of that festive occasion, I started doing some research into what kind of cake I want to bake for my husband’s birthday next week. His only request is that the cake be sheathed in chocolate frosting. So many possibilities! Of course I could do chocolate cake, or yellow cake, but what about the less common choices like peanut butter cake, coffee-flavored cake, some sort of cake with fruit filling, pudding filling, different kinds of cake together in one cake, GAAAH! The possibilities are endless! How about you tell me your suggestions in the comments, and I can go from there!

As you may already know, I get a big kick out of National food days. Who even decides these things? There’s at least one commemoration for every day of the month. Here are the food days I plan to celebrate in April.

First Week of April: Bake Week

April 1: Sourdough Bread Day (we bought a loaf since I never started my sourdough culture again when we moved)

April 7: Coffee Cake Day (we just had coffee cake for Easter…but I must do another one!)

April 8: Empanada Day

April 10: Cinnamon Crescent Day (may be trumped by birthday cake)

April 12: Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

April 16: Eggs Benedict Day

April 18: Animal Crackers Birthday (woohoo! throw a party for the cracker!)

April 20: Lima Bean Respect Day (I hope we don’t have to actually eat a lima bean, just demonstrate respect…)

April 23: Cherry Cheesecake Day

April 28: Blueberry Pie Day

I really like the baking ones, apparently. I wasn’t too attracted to things like Day of the Mushroom (April 16) or National Prime Rib Day (April 27) but maybe you want to celebrate some different days from me! I hope I get to do those days at the end of the month. Our official move-out date is April 22, so we’ll have to celebrate Cherry Cheesecake and Blueberry Pie on the road!

100_1483Finally I want to share these cute Stephen pictures. He’s like a cat or something: when the window is open, he perches there and just hangs out, looking and sniffing the air or something. This morning they were actually sharing the perch. As you can imagine, that didn’t really last long enough to get a picture. Here Stephen has his sippy cup in the first photo, but it looks like he’s holding up some binoculars! Cute.100_1484


Okay Friday

stephen wearing apron


There is absolutely no reason for this picture. It’s just fairly recent and represents one of Stephen’s new hobbies. He adores “helping” me cook by putting on Jeremy’s apron and standing around the kitchen being grabby and underfoot. It’s actually very precious. I think he may need his own toddler sized apron in a cool masculine boy-child type fabric (hint, hint, grandma Kathy…. :-p)

So today being Good Friday and one of the most deeply penitential days of the liturgical year, I thought it would be a good day to wake up on the wrong side of the bed and put on my cranky pants. Seriously, I spent a great deal of the day feeling tired and emotionally fragile, with a headache and a short patience fuse. Blame it on being pregnant? Yes, I think I will. It didn’t help that Stephen woke up dark and early at 5:45am, then proceeded to spend most of the morning freaking out about who-knows-what. That weird howling he does is way more aggravating than actual crying with tears.

We went to the 12 noon liturgy for Good Friday and that was really the high point of the day. Stephen behaved remarkably well considering we got there 30 minutes early to get a family-sized space in a pew near the front, then the liturgy was almost 2 hours long. The Passion reading was very beautifully done. They did a sung version, with a deacon, the monsignor, and a cantor doing the solos. The choir sang metrical composed music for all the crowd speeches. I was very impressed. The clergy had wonderful singing voices, and stayed really in tune; they were even able to work around the occasional mistake and end up in the right place at the end of the phrase. Again, I was very impressed both from a professional musician’s point of view, and as a member of the assembly there for spiritual enrichment. I really enjoy all the chanting in the liturgy at this church. When we go to the mass that has the main choir, the assembly only sings one or two hymns, but the entire ordinary is chanted, and the dialogues, and even “the word of the lord” after each reading. So I never feel like I don’t get to sing enough. I have also appreciated the choir singing psalm settings by Joseph Gelineau. I haven’t heard those in a long time, and they are some of my favorite musical settings of the psalms.

We did a few random things today, working around the liturgy schedule. We finished putting in termination orders on our utilities. We also booked another night of accommodations for our road trip. And finally, we purchased a car-top carrier box off of Craigslist. We need to have a new key cut for the lock, and Jeremy needs to make some after-marked modifications so it will screw on to our roof rack, but it’s going to be a big help on our trip! Now we won’t have to stuff the back of the car so completely full, and we will even be able to take along a whole case of diapers so we won’t have to buy some on the road. I think it will be worth the price we paid, and then some.

Things are coming together. Tomorrow is Holy Saturday, and we actually hired a babysitter so Jeremy and I will go enjoy the Easter Vigil mass babyless. It’s going to be awesome!


The Road Trip, Man. It’s Gonna Be Epic

First, before we get started on today’s post, here is a gratuitous picture of my cat:

sashimi in toy box


Stephen had pulled out every toy that is usually stored in that compartment of his shelving, and the cat moved right in.

Okay, now for the post.

We are in full swing planning our move and how we’re going to get all of us, all of our stuff, and the cat to Ohio with the least amount of fuss. We’ve got the stuff worked out, at least. U-haul offers this service called “U-boxes” that you can rent instead of a truck. They deliver these shipping containers to you, you fill them with your stuff, then they truck them to wherever you need them to go. The containers are stored in a U-haul warehouse until you want them delivered, then U-haul delivers them. Of course, it is a little cheaper if you go to the warehouse on each end and tow your own containers. You can also tow your own containers across the country, if that’s what you want to do. We are having them delivered, and it is a huge relief to have that all sorted.

As for the cat, we know we will have to send him to Ohio with airplane shipping. That’s how he got to New Mexico. It was a pain, but there are precious few options for animals. No way can he come in the car with us. I just hope he doesn’t wig out too badly when my parents collect him and we aren’t around. And then take him to their house wherein resides a large black dog and another prickly kitty.

As for us, we are planning to take the “scenic route” from New Mexico to Ohio. The quickest route would be to head up through Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, then to Ohio, but why take the quickest route when you can take a longer one? We actually have friends all over the country because we’ve lived in many different places and our friends have moved around as much as we have. We plan to go North to Denver and stay a couple days, stop over in Virginia Dale, CO to visit the Abbey of St. Walburga where Jeremy lived for a couple years, then head up to Billings and stay a few days there. Then it’s East through North Dakota where we have a friend in Richardton at Assumption Abbey. On to St. Cloud, Minnesota where we plan to stay a couple days visiting friends from our Grad School days. From there we’ll continue East, stopping in Milwaukee where we plan to stay in the area a couple days visiting friends. There’s a neat pilgrimage site near there, too, called Holy Hill. Then we go down around the Great Lakes hitting Chicago where we have a couple friends77777[<–from the cat standing on the keyboard]. From there we make the final push East to Ohio. We plan to stop briefly in the Toledo area to catch our breath with some of my extended family before taking the last leg home to beautiful Cuyahoga Falls.

Whew. It’s going to take about two weeks for a total of 2,600 miles. Plus the short side trips and any in-town driving. By the time we get to Ohio, Stephen won’t even remember what it’s like to sleep in a crib. We plan to take some books to read aloud to each other, and a wide variety of car seat activities for the munchkin. Luckily, the way we’re figuring the trip so far, we don’t have very many days where we’ll be on the road for more than 5 hours a day. That’s still a lot, I know, and I’m sure Stephen will start to protest long before we arrive at our destination. But I am hopeful too because we have lots of overnights where we’ll just be hanging around town visiting, so our trip will be broken up. I think the longest leg we have planned so far is the push from Richardton to St. Cloud, and even that is only around 6 hours, maybe a bit more. It will be hard, but it sure beats the alternatives

1. Just getting there as quickly as possible and having a cranky baby plus missing the opportunity to visit friends.


2. Taking three weeks to do the trip with the added cost of more overnights in hotels and the added pain in the butt (literally) of being in the car for so long and still getting the cranky baby.

The main thing I’m really praying for at this point is for my doctor to say it’s okay for me to take a leisurely road trip. I know I’m probably at risk for premature delivery, but there has been no indication so far that that is going to happen soon. I have an appointment on Monday when I’ll ask about it, but I’m really hoping he doesn’t tell me I have to fly to Ohio. That will throw the hugest wrench in our plans. Hoping, hoping, hoping….


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