September 24, 2010 § Leave a comment
Suddenly my autumn calendar doesn’t look so empty. All it takes is a few days and one or two changes of plans and boom, I have no free weekends until the beginning of November! This is a good thing, though, definitely good.
Let’s start with this weekend. I’m going out to Mount Savior Monastery, in Elmira, NY, with Mom and other women from community for a spiritual retreat weekend. I’m hoping for a peaceful time with lots of guidance from the Holy Spirit. Please pray for me! I’m also taking a few snacks because those monks have more willpower than me when it comes to not eating between meals. I can’t help it! I have high metabolism! (Blatant excuse.)
Next weekend is busy, but it’s the annoying kind of busy that comes from me working at the restaurant and babysitting all weekend long. So let’s not bore you all with those details. Moving on…
Weekend after that is Oct 9th & 10th and that means… Hockey is back!! The Penguins open their regular season against the Hershey Bears on the 9th, and you’ll know where to find me that night. I am very excited for hockey season to start again, especially because of the NHL’s Winter Classic. It’s an outdoor hockey game and it’ll be played this year in Pittsburgh on New Year’s Day. The big Pens are playing the Capitals so we can all be prepared for an overdose of Crosby vs. Ovechkin hype. All I have to say about that is… Who has the Stanley Cup ring, eh? Who captained their team to the championship and won, eh? Yeah that’s right. Ahem. Also occurring that weekend is my trip to Gettysburg with Danny on the 10th. This is our little celebration of our three year anniversary. Three years. Who’d have thought I could stand him for that long? It gets tougher every day, really.
And then, the weekend after that is the weekend that I am flying out to Michigan to visit Jul & Daniel!! I could not be more excited for this trip, seeing as Jul is going to be 7 months pregnant!!! Pretty crazy. I hope we get to do a ton of shopping for baby stuff. I’m also aware that I’m wading deep into the heart of Red Wings territory, but have no fear. I’m taking my Penguins hat and my pepper spray.
Um, I think the next weekend I’m working again all weekend… yes, skipping right along. (If only I could do that in real life!)
And then for the final weekend in October, I’ll be attending a wedding! Yes, another one! That will make it my 3rd this summer. Mary Yanik, a friend of mine since, well, birth, is getting married! This wedding should be so much fun because I’m sure there will be people there I haven’t seen in ages. I can’t wait to catch up with all the girls and do some dancing. And maybe a little wine drinking. Only a little, don’t worry! Hmm a fall wedding… what to wear?? What to wear…. Well, I guess I know what guidance I’ll be asking the Holy Spirit for this weekend.
Just kidding!! 😉
ps- I’m thinking my cream colored turtleneck sweaterdress. It hits my knee and has short sleeves but I can wear it with a black sweater. And then I’ll be able to wear my totally cute black ruffle heels. With gold and diamond jewelry to brighten up the palette. Gray smoky eyes? Gold shimmery eyes? It’ll be a game time decision.
September 21, 2010 § Leave a comment
First off, this link to the Catholic Herald of the UK is a list of most of Pope Benedict’s speeches over the course of his 4 day trip to the UK. And this link is more articles covering it. Also, Rocco at Whispers In The Loggia has most of them and some very good comments.
This is my excerpt from the mid-flight press conference on Thursday, Sept 16th, when Pope Benedict was flying to Scotland.
“Where there is anti-Catholicism I will go forward with great courage and joy.”
“Question: Can anything be done to make the Church as an institution, more credible and attractive to everyone?”
“I would say that a Church that seeks to be particularly attractive is already on the wrong path, because the Church does not work for her own ends, she does not work to increase numbers and thus power. The Church is at the service of another… …She serves to make the proclamation of Jesus Christ accessible, the great truths and great forces of love, reconciling love that appeared in this figure and that always comes from the presence of Jesus Christ. In this regard, the Church does not seek to be attractive in and of herself, but must be transparent for Jesus Christ…”
HOMILY OF POPE BENEDICT XVI
MASS OF ST NINIAN, APOSTLE OF SCOTLAND
16 SEPTEMBER 2010
“Society today needs clear voices which propose our right to live, not in a jungle of self-destructive and arbitrary freedoms, but in a society which works for the true welfare of its citizens and offers them guidance and protection in the face of their weakness and fragility. Do not be afraid to take up this service to your brothers and sisters, and to the future of your beloved nation.”
“Finally, I would like to say a word to you, my dear young Catholics of Scotland. I urge you to lead lives worthy of our Lord (cf. Eph 4:1) and of yourselves. There are many temptations placed before you every day – drugs, money, sex, pornography, alcohol – which the world tells you will bring you happiness, yet these things are destructive and divisive. There is only one thing which lasts: the love of Jesus Christ personally for each one of you. Search for him, know him and love him, and he will set you free from slavery to the glittering but superficial existence frequently proposed by today’s society. Put aside what is worthless and learn of your own dignity as children of God. In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks us to pray for vocations: I pray that many of you will know and love Jesus Christ and, through that encounter, will dedicate yourselves completely to God, especially those of you who are called to the priesthood and religious life. This is the challenge the Lord gives to you today: the Church now belongs to you!”
ADDRESS OF POPE BENEDICT XVI
TO THE REPRESENTATIVES OF OTHER RELIGIONS
ST MARY’S UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, TWICKENHAM
17 SEPTEMBER 2010
“The quest for the sacred is the search for the one thing necessary, which alone satisfies the longings of the human heart. In the fifth century, Saint Augustine described that search in these terms: “Lord, you have created us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you” (Confessions, Book I, 1). As we embark on this adventure we come to realize more and more that the initiative lies not with us, but with the Lord: it is not so much we who are seeking him, but rather he who is seeking us, indeed it was he who placed that longing for him deep within our hearts.
…Genuine religious belief points us beyond present utility towards the transcendent. It reminds us of the possibility and the imperative of moral conversion, of the duty to live peaceably with our neighbor, of the importance of living a life of integrity. Properly understood, it brings enlightenment, it purifies our hearts and it inspires noble and generous action, to the benefit of the entire human family.”
ADDRESS OF POPE BENEDICT XVI
TO BRITISH SOCIETY
THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT
17 SEPTEMBER 2010
“Reason and Faith Need Each Other”
Here is the text of the address Benedict XVI delivered today at a meeting with representatives of civil society, academic, cultural and entrepreneurial world, diplomatic corps and religious leaders at Westminster Hall.
Pope Benedict made a short speech to over 2,500 young people in a piazza outside of Wesminster Cathedral:
“I ask you to look into your hearts each day to find the source of all true love. Jesus is always there, quietly waiting for us to be still with him and to hear his voice. Deep within your heart, he is calling you to spend time with him in prayer. But this kind of prayer, real prayer, requires discipline; it requires making time for moments of silence every day. Often it means waiting for the Lord to speak. Even amid the “busy-ness” and the stress of our daily lives, we need to make space for silence, because it is in silence that we find God, and in silence that we discover our true self. And in discovering our true self, we discover the particular vocation which God has given us for the building up of his Church and the redemption of our world.”
There were over 80,000 people at Hyde Park on Saturday, Sept 18th, for Pope Benedict’s prayer vigil. He gave a wonderful speech, most of it centering on the beautification of Cardinal John Henry Newman that he would celebrate the next day. The now Blessed Cardinal Newman was a famous convert to Catholicism from the Anglican Church (born 21 February 1801 – died 11 August 1890).
“Newman’s life also teaches us that passion for the truth, intellectual honesty and genuine conversion are costly. The truth that sets us free cannot be kept to ourselves; it calls for testimony, it begs to be heard, and in the end its convincing power comes from itself and not from the human eloquence or arguments in which it may be couched. Not far from here, at Tyburn, great numbers of our brothers and sisters died for the faith; the witness of their fidelity to the end was ever more powerful than the inspired words that so many of them spoke before surrendering everything to the Lord. In our own time, the price to be paid for fidelity to the Gospel is no longer being hanged, drawn and quartered but it often involves being dismissed out of hand, ridiculed or parodied. And yet, the Church cannot withdraw from the task of proclaiming Christ and his Gospel as saving truth, the source of our ultimate happiness as individuals and as the foundation of a just and humane society.”
September 10, 2010 § 2 Comments
“I want to be a mother. I want to be a wife and a mother.”
Do you know what happens after I speak those words to most people? A puzzled look, a shoulder shrug. An instant rebuttal. They are patronizing me, waving off my desire with a flick of their hand. “You have plenty of time for that,” they tell me. “Don’t rush things. Don’t hurry.”
I have been hearing this counsel since I was 14 years old and realized once and for all, on the day I received the Sacrament of Confirmation, that I was not meant to enter a convent, but was called to the married life. I cannot recall a single time when someone -outside of the Catholic community to which I belonged, or a priest, or a nun- someone who was secular ever told me that I had decided on a noble calling, or a respected, dignified profession. Not one single time was I encouraged. Can you imagine? What if I had told them “I want to be a teacher. “ Maybe: “I want to be a doctor.” “I want to be a lawyer.” “A professional athlete.” “A scientist.” “A movie star.” “Dream big,” they would encourage me, because that’s what older people do when dreams and ambitions are confided in them by the young. “Good for you. Work hard, go to school, do it!” “Fulfill your dreams of becoming a doctor! You’ll do so much good in the world!” Or “You’ll make a perfect teacher! You love kids!” Or “Go for science! There is financial aid, there are scholarships; there are so many ways that you can make your dream a reality.”
But a mother? A mother? I got strange looks. At 24, I still get strange looks. Shifting eyes. “Oh. Um. Okay, but I meant what do you want to DO? You know, what do you want to BE?”
What do you think people would say if I told them that not only will I be a doctor, I will also be a teacher. And a lawyer. I will be a scientist and a police officer and an athlete and on top of that, I’ll be a magician, a hero, I’ll be a nightmare-slayer, a 24/7 chef, a source of hope and wisdom and love. I will be a mother. I may not cure cancer but I will bandage countless knees and elbows, I will pull splinters, I will kiss imaginary wounds. I may not receive tenure but I will teach every day not only from books but from life and my own experiences. I may not pass the Bar Exam but I will strike deals about bedtimes, make plea bargains with stubborn teenagers, intervene and solve thousands of arguments between siblings. I may not discover a new species in the Amazon but I will discover the exact amount of chocolate my child prefers in their milk and what stain remover will work on soccer shorts and how glassy my teen’s eyes look after they have been drinking without my knowledge. I may not work for Scotland Yard but I will know without looking what vegetables they are eating and which ones they are feeding the dog under the table. I will never be in the Olympics but I will show them how to ice skate and when they are young, there will be no difference to them between me and Sasha Cohen. I will have eyes in the back of my head and six hands and the power to kill bad dreams and soothe fevered bodies. I will have Christmas mornings and Easter egg hunts and Thanksgiving wishbones. I will pass on to my children the courage I have gained in the world, the ideals I strive for, the faith that I love, the God whom I worship.
This is my ambition. This is being a mother. Being a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, an athlete, a chef, a hero, all at once, every day, and having to become a better doctor, a tougher lawyer, a more mature teacher as my children become better, tougher, and more mature.
So don’t you dare, America. Don’t you dare tell me that I have no ambition because I have never wanted to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a lawyer. Don’t you dare tell me that my plans are better put on hold. That I should wait and not rush towards the greatest dream I have had in my life since I was 14 years old. You can keep your backwards thinking and your hypocritical ambitions. I will fly my flag of motherhood proudly on my mast and when I am holding my children in my arms, I will look at my God and I will thank Him for allowing me to help Him create life. Life.
***** After some reader input, I think maybe I should clarify and say that I don’t have an issue with mothers who work. There’s nothing wrong with having to work a job AND be a mother. Nothing AT ALL. All I am trying to do is achieve equality in the perception of ‘careers’. No one would say to me “Oh there’s no rush to do that!” if I told them that curing cancer as a doctor was my life’s goal. Can you imagine? My life’s goal is to be a mother. Respect that.
That’s all. 🙂
September 3, 2010 § Leave a comment
10 AM to 10 PM.
That’s how long Pete and I were at Dorney Park this past Saturday. And we enjoyed every minute of it. We didn’t go to the water park at all because I kind of have this thing about wave pools. Blech. But luckily for us, everyone else did go there, so the lines on the coasters were barely anything! We must have walked ten miles that day, going back and forth between Dorney’s Big Three: Steel Force, Talon, and Hydra, and stopping along the way to ride the Dominator, Possessed, and a myriad of smaller but still thrill-inducing rides. Pete was so excited (and so was I!) because he was FINALLY tall enough to ride the Talon & Hydra coasters. He was measured more than once but they let him through every time. It’s a big moment! The weather was perfect, warm enough that we enjoyed the Log Flume’s splashing, but enough of a breeze that we weren’t dragging ourselves through the park or dying in the unshaded lines. In fact when the sun went down around 8:30, I even put my hoodie on. I have to say, there is nothing so fun as going on a roller coaster in the dark. The neon lights blur around you and the wind has a bit of chill to it. I love the feeling of swooping through the darkness, unable to see the twists and turns in front of you until you’re right there. This is especially true for someone like me, who is blind as a bat without glasses. I am still not able to wear contacts, therefore all day long, I had to take my glasses off for the crazy rides. Imagine you’re on the Dominator, hanging two hundred feet up in the air, looking over the whole park, and all you can see is colorful blurs. It was driving me nuts. My prescription sunglasses saved my life that day, though. It was sunny out all day long and being able to wear sunglasses and yet still see properly was a feeling I will NEVER take for granted. That was the BEST $150 I have ever spent. I love them. I think the best part of the whole day though was the very end. As Pete and I walked towards my car, he gave me a big hug and said that it had been one of the best days of his life. High praise from an 11 year old boy after the only person he spent time with all day was his big sister! Anyway, before I sound too mushy, here are some pictures of our day!
Here is a GREAT video of the front seat POV of Possessed. Pete and I loved this ride! We went on it about eight times.
Possessed Front Seat POV (I wanted to embed the video itself here but I couldn’t. I don’t know why. If anyone has any answer as to why it wouldnt let me embed the video, please let me know!)
Remember this post about my love of gardening? Here’s the result! Only one sunflower made it to full fruition.
Now For Something Completely Different: Fashion!! Shorts!! I bought these shorts recently from Express. Definitely going to pair them this fall and winter with opaque tights and pumps, and a brightly colored cardigan with some sparkly jewelry. If I ever have a working camera again, I will take pictures. Also want to try wearing them with black tights and a white blouse and my black suspenders. Remains to be seen how I will like this. Could end up being a bit much, but I’m definitely going to try it out. A simple black and white palette, how can it fail? Plus I just love my suspenders. I really do.
Here are a few more examples of what I am aiming for with the shorts:
Both pictures courtesy of Fashionising.com. Another trend you’ll see if you peruse the site is socks with ankle shoes.
I can’t lie, this is melting my heart. As a person who is perpetually cold, I really like the thought of being able to layer my ankle boots with thick, chunky woolen socks and still look adorable. Take a look at this article to see what I mean, and here are two pictures (also courtesy of fashionising.com).
Let me know what you think of these fashions in the comments!! Don’t be afraid to say if you think they’re ugly. Just be nice about it. Or, if you are not fashionably opinionated, comment on how sorry you feel for me that I couldn’t see at all on any roller coasters I went on the other day. My poor blind eyes. At one point, Pete had to help me buckle in on Steel Force because I couldn’t see the buckle well enough.