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The Dayton Houghs

30 31 32 36 32 36 32 36 32 36 32 36 32 36 32 36 37 38 The Dayton Houghs

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Titanic...

I have noticed that all of my thoughts and feelings, and therefore my blogs, have been so desperate sounding. Rather angry. But I am not surprised. That is how I feel, desperate and angry.

I feel as if I am on the Titanic. I am up in the crow's nest with my little telescope thingy. I can see the iceberg. I can see the impending tragedy, the doom up ahead. I am screaming my ever-loving head off, trying to warn everyone, but they are all happily dining below. Dancing to the beautiful violin music, being lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of the ship. They are clueless to the giant iceberg sitting just below the surface waiting to cause utter destruction. The iceberg in this case is the eating disorder (ED). The Titanic is my home and the happily clueless people are my family. I know that it isn't a fair statement. I know that my husband isn't clueless or happy, for that matter. I think that he is just as worried and terrified as I am. But his is more optimistic than I am. He wants desperately to believe that we just might be able to steer clear of the iceberg. Maybe, just maybe, we will veer off at the last minute. As usual I am the pessimist. And as much as I would like to agree with him, well...I just don't.

The reason is that my daughter, at the moment, is the captain. She is steering us straight into the iceberg. She isn't doing it to be malicious or hateful. She just isn't that person. She is doing it because she is completely oblivious . She has no idea of the potential damage that the iceberg can inflict. She looks ahead and sees a little shadow in the water, something that might be an annoyance, but can't really hurt anything. She is blinded by the constant onslaught of self hatred that the ED feeds her. She is damaged, unlovable, unworthy. She can't see beyond the very tip of the iceberg. Instead it is full speed ahead....

But we have been in these icy waters for six years now. I know that a little shadow can be devastating. So I am sorry if I can't just sip my wine and happily waltz to the orchestra. Nope. I am in the crow's nest and I see it coming. And there isn't a damn thing that I can do about it.

After my last post, we had a lengthy talk with my lovely girl. I asked her if she had read my blog. She had. I asked her what she thought of it. She hated it. She was mad. And honestly, I figured that she would be. But that was a choice that I made, and I would and will, again. I explained to her, again, that my weapon of choice is prayer. I explained that I was gathering an army of prayer warriors. And she didn't need to like. I don't really care if she likes it. But I will not stop. I will continue to pray for her. And I will continue to beg for prayers for her. Because here is the thing...we can't avoid the iceberg. It is there, big and bad. There is no way to circle it and avoid damage. If you get too close, you are done. And we have certainly been too close. There are gouges and dents in our hull. The water is slowly starting to trickle in. The happily oblivious people are noticing that their feet are starting to get wet.

But I am not going down with a fight. I am hanging onto the crow's nest screaming my pleas and prayers to God. I am clinging to the hope that He will rescue us. He can repair the damage that the iceberg has caused. In fact, he can just remove the iceberg completely. That is what I am waiting for. I am waiting for complete healing for my girl. I am waiting for healing for all of us. I am waiting for God to remove the freaking ice berg.

Heavenly Father, I beg you to hear my humble prayer. Please grant my daughter, and all those that suffer from this wretched disease, healing and peace. Please flood their hearts with your grace and mercy. Please provide their family and friends with understanding and forgiveness also. Heal them from the hurt that this disease causes to all that encounter it. We need you, Lord. Amen

Friday, February 5, 2016

The only weapon that we have...Another unedited therapy post.

The love that a parent has for a child is something that you really can't explain. It is an overwhelming, intense, primal and sometimes scary feeling. We have all heard of the term Mama Bear. Everyone knows that you don't get between a mama bear and her cubs unless you have a death wish. As a mom, there is such an intuitive drive to protect our kids. I get it. I feel it.

So, my friends, what do you do when the person that is trying to hurt your child IS your child??

 As a family we have been battling mental illness, in the shape of anxiety and depression and a pretty severe eating disorder. I say "as a family" because it affects all of us. Every single one of us is damaged by this.  When your nine year old announces that his sissy's worst part of her day is eating dinner...well, that just sucks.

There is this cycle that we go through. It started about 6 years ago when she stopped eating. After months of watching her rapidly decline and not being able to do anything about it, she was hospitalized for a month. That was one of the hardest things that we have ever had to do. Taking our 14 year old daughter and dropping her off for an indefinite time period to a hospital over an hour away because her organs were beginning to shut down...it was a nightmare. Our family had this constant cloud of fear and panic just settled over us. It was almost suffocating.

This was followed by years of therapy that she basically refused to participate in. We "forced" her to go but after two different therapists basically told us that we were wasting our time and money because she wouldn't speak...what do you do? So much frustration there.

This was followed by a period of what we thought was improvement. She "seemed" to be ok. She slowly appeared to come back to us. My beautiful, sweet, thoughtful daughter came back to us. She smiled again and seemed to be ok. I wrapped myself in this feeling of relief and allowed myself to relax. I reveled in the feeling of things being normal, or at least as normal as this family gets. I was lulled into a false sense of security. Security that things were good. My kids, my greatest blessings were good and healthy and happy. Things seemed to be bright again. We could breathe.

But then the clouds slowly come back. You start to notice things, skipping meals, excessive exercise, bouncing and nervousness where there had been peace and calmness. You try to push it aside, hoping that you are just imagining things. Are you making things out of what really isn't there? You  hope so,  but you know, deep down you just know that it is back. Actually, not back, but rather still there lurking about waiting to steal our joy.

And then it is just there again. As big and bad as ever, actually worse. Things are worse and there is nothing that we can do. I have read book after book, article after article about eating disorders. They all say the same thing. It is the same thing that doctors and therapists and friends that have fought this battle themselves, all say. There is nothing that you can do. NOTHING. You must try to separate the eating disorder from your child. Your child is not the eating disorder. The problem is that after a while it is really hard to do. It is hard to see my beautiful, sweet girl. I know that she is still there, but the lies that this illness tells her has made it increasingly hard to see her. She is being taken over by the belief that she is not enough. She is unlovable. The only way that she will reach perfection is by attaining a specific weight. Then she will be worthy. Then she will able to be loved and love back.

My heart breaks because I feel so helpless. I am frustrated and I am angry...so very angry. I keep telling her over and over again, that my frustration is not at her. We love her and we are not mad at her. Our love is not conditional on her recovery. If this is something that she will battle forever (and there is a good chance that she will), we will love her through every step of the way. That will not change, ever. But the mama bear comes out and I just want to shake her and scream,"Why can't you see it??? Why can't you see the truth?" But at the same time, I want to hug her and hold her and protect her from....herself.

I want to tell her that her value and her worth has nothing to do with what she looks like or what she weighs. It doesn't even have anything to do with us, her family, despite how much we love her. It has to do with the fact that she is a creation of God. He loves her so much that he created her perfectly in His image. He loved her enough to send His son to die, so that she may someday go to heaven. That is what gives her value. That is where her worth comes from. Not the size of her jeans or a number on a scale.

 The thing is that I have told her that. Her dad has told her that. Again and again we have told her this. But it falls on deaf ears. She cannot hear it through the noise of the eating disorder.

I am not satisfied to do nothing. I am not satisfied to sit back and wait for her to collapse so that we can have her hospitalized. We can require her to go to therapy, but we can't force her to want to get better. This is not enough. Doing NOTHING is not an option. But after years of doing this, after years of waiting for it to "get better," I know that we can't do anything. That is we can't do anything except to pray.

Except to pray...it sounds so insignificant. All that we can do is to pray. It sounds like such a small tiny thing. The thing is, that is not true. It is not a small insignificant thing. It is the most powerful weapon that we have in this battle. It is the constant onslaught of prayers that will eventually crack open her heart. We only need a tiny crack to get in. Just a teensy tiny crack. Because once her broken, damaged heart is cracked open, the floodgates will open. The grace from all of the countless prayers from countless people will pour into her heart and start to heal her. Her wounded self image, her warped sense of value and worth, the damage that she is doing to her body as well as her soul, it will start to heal.

That is what doing nothing but praying will do.

Please join me my friends in praying for my daughter. Join me in praying for all of the wounded souls that are battling this disorder. Pray for the healing, pray for the teensy tiny little crack to open in their hearts. Just pray.

*I know that there will be people that question my choice to share this with all of you. I know that some people (namely my daughter) who might be angry with this choice. I am ok with this. I need to feel that there is hope. If you are in the same situation, I want you to know that you are not alone. Prayer my friends, that is the key.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

This is a bit crazy...or I am.

Once again, I am using this blog as my therapy. No editing, no rewrites, just putting it out there.  Writing what is swirling around in my head helps me to bring a bit of peace to my troubled heart. So here we go...

I have battled depression for the last few years. If I really looked back, probably longer, but it became much more pronounced after my hysterectomy. Medication has helped for the most part, but I still have little episodes where it just sort of overtakes me.The dark cloud settles around me and I feel it pressing in. It becomes overwhelming. I just want to curl up in my bed and squeeze my eyes shut as tightly as I can and wait for it to pass and leave me back at a place of wobbly balance. This point of wobbly balance is my normal. It is the point that I can enjoy what life has given me. At this point, I can see the beauty in what is around me. But if I wobble too far to the left or too far to the right, the darkness is there. I live for wobbly balance.

This move to Steubenville has been a test to my balance. In my heart, I know that this move is part of God's master plan for my family. I am 100% certain that this is where we, I am supposed to be. I am just not sure why. The "why" is throwing off my wobbly balance. The darkness is present in a few different forms, most notably, an overwhelming sense of loneliness.

I miss my family. I miss being able to go to my mom and dad's house for lunch just because I want to see them. I miss sitting on the back porch of my grandparent's house and visiting with them, sharing funny stories about the kids. I miss my sister. I prayed and prayed that she would be blessed with another little one and she added twins to her growing family. So what do I do?? I move away. I miss my church family. I miss knowing all of the faces at mass each week. I miss my FIF's. I just miss it all.

We have only moved 1 1/2 hours away. It is a trip that can easily be made back and forth in one day. My head knows this. But my  heart knows that, regardless of this fact, it just doesn't happen. I have to take the kids to school and pick them up. There is seldom and evening that doesn't require at least one pickup and drop off for an extracurricular activity. It is just not feasible. On the other hand, we live in a time of social media. It provides the ability to stay in touch regardless of distance. I "am with" my friends and family every bit as much as I was when I lived in Dayton, thanks to facebook. I "talk" to many of them daily. We are still in touch. But still my heart hurts.

So here I am, trying to figure out what my purpose is here. We are settled in and the kids are doing fantastic. Check. The house is unpacked and at a point of maintainable tidiness. Check. The husband is working at a job that he loves. Check. Everything is great and we have a routine, which is why I think that it has finally hit me. With nothing left to worry about or focus on, this overwhelming homesickness has pretty much knocked the wind out of me. It has thrown my wobbly balance off and I am flailing about in the darkness. Enter in weepy days, not wanting to get out of bed, impatience (more than normal), and just a feeling of loss.

It always me takes a few days to realize that I have lost my balance. I don't know why, but it does. I guess that I am a slow learner. And to be completely honest with you, I don't really have time to deal with the depression. I don't have the energy or desire to deal with life, but there really is no choice. So each morning I have been prying myself from under my covers. I have been forcing myself to shower and dress ( most days). I have been packing lunches and making school runs. Things slowly come into focus and while I am still overwhelmed by the dark cloud, I can usually figure out what has knocked me off of my balance. In this case, I have it pinpointed to homesickness and loneliness.

In an effort to pull myself out of this funk, I have been making a concerted effort to work on my prayer life. The darkness tends to cloud that too. I go through the motions and say my rosary and read the daily readings, but I feel nothing. I keep trying to get back to my wobbly balance. While doing this, I have recently started to read the 33 Days to Morning Glory preparation for Marian consecration. In this book is a chapter on Mother Teresa. This tiny nun changed the world through her love and devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Her mission in life was to bring souls to Jesus to help to ease the suffering of His aching heart. She taught such a lesson of love, not only love of God, but love of neighbor, the love of each other. But throughout all of this she suffered greatly. She experienced what she called, "a terrible darkness" in her soul "as if everything was dead." This little beacon of His love and light, was overwhelmed with a darkness of her own. And it lasted for years and years.

After a decade of the "darkness," she came to the realization that this painful longing was in fact a share in the thirst that Jesus felt. She persisted through the darkness that lasted until her death, because she realized that this darkness was a link between her and Jesus. She wrote, "Suffering, pain, humiliation- this is the kiss of Jesus. That suffering that came in the life of our Lady that has come also into the life of Jesus-it has come in our life also. Only never put on a long face. Suffering is a gift from God. It is between you and Jesus alone inside."

Wow. This little paragraph spoke to me. I am not in any way saying that what I am feeling is even remotely like the darkness that the tiny Saint felt. But it is my suffering, however insignificant. As I said, this move, which I believe is God's will, has brought about so many gifts. But the broken, sad, lonely and human side of me feels this darkness pressing in. I want to fight it. What would my weapons be? Medication? Therapy? Or rather a shift in perspective?? Should I, instead, look at this loneliness as a gift? Is this loneliness placed in my heart so that I will search more intently for Him? Is that why I feel so off balance? Is the darkness, the sadness, actually a loneliness for Him, for the parts of Him that I saw in my family and my friends? I don't know.

The darkness that I feel is often unsettling. It is a feeling of being on edge and being uneasy. But there is a quiet that sometimes accompanies the darkness. Rather than run from the darkness, should I embrace it and just listen? In the darkness, in the quiet, I believe that I will find Him.  That still small voice will call to me. The question is whether or not the noise of life, the noise of sadness, will drown Him out? So, now what? How do I find Him when I am lost in the darkness that is swirling around in my own head? I don't. I don't find Him. I let Him find me. As a parent, we tell our kids that if they ever find themselves separated from us and lost, STAY PUT. Just stay where they are and let us come to them. He is the Good Shepherd after all. He will not leave his little sheep lost and alone, even a sheep as whiny and pitiful as me. So, I will stay put and wait. I will keep on crying out and then silence myself to try to hear His reply. He will come. And until then I have medication and wine.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Bleacher mom for life...

 It is ridiculously hard to make friends as an adult. Seriously. If I didn't have kids, I think that I would still be sitting in my little craft room drinking wine and feeling sorry for myself. But thankfully, I do have kids and that means that I have kids' activities to attend. Kids' activities = other parents( ie adults). Even still, being surrounded by other parents is no guarantee of interaction. Every sport has it's own level of parental involvement or rather parental investment. If you have kids in sports you know what I mean. If you don't, allow me to enlighten you. 

Soccer parents: most of them have more than one child playing so they move from field to field, chatting with different people along the way. Usually you end up spending the most time at the youngest child's field just because they like to see you around, where as the older kids roll their eyes at you and are not a big fan of parental spectators at practices. Games are another story, but, "Oh my gosh mom, you don't need to stare at me all during practice. It's creepy. geesh..." Because of the rotating nomadic nature of parenting soccer kids, there is usually some overlap of parents and you can usually connect with a couple of them, giving you a core group of parents to talk to as you move from field to field. This is where I met a few sweet moms that invited me to join their Mom's In Prayer group. This was a godsend. I was able to met and befriend several really great women. I found a little bit of a sense of belonging that I really needed.

Football: It's been a while since I have had football players, but from what I remember and from what I have witnessed, they are a hard core group of dedicated parents. They usually practice 5 days a week with games on Friday or Saturday. That is 6 out of 7 days of nonstop action-packed commitment.  That doesn't even count the never ending off season training, lifting, etc. You are your own breed of sports parent. I applaud you football parents. I don't want to be you, but I applaud you. 

Baseball: Another outdoor sport. You can be sitting in the sun baking  or under umbrellas shivering and soaked. You feel a kind of solidarity among the parents, because you are all in this thing together and it could go on for hours...literally hours. (They should really consider having a time limit on baseball games because, OMG, they can be ridiculous!) You sit and cheer on one another's kids because you know that each out and each run gets you closer to the end. That is not to say that I don't enjoy baseball games, because I really do, but seriously people...HOURS!!

Volleyball: The first of the indoor sports to discuss. I never played so I don't really understand all of the rules and things ( I still don't understand the square dancing thing that the girls do at the beginning, but that's just me.). But I love to watch the kids dive all over the place after the ball. The games seem to be so brief and if you are at a tournament, there is a lot of shuffling around, but the parents that are there are in it for the long haul. This allows for some parental interaction. Nothing super intense, but pleasant.

Finally Basketball: I will admit that this is my favorite sport to watch. I played basketball for years (I wasn't very good, but I loved it.) so I understand it. There is just something about the smell of a gym, and the sound of a ball swishing through the net that just warms my heart.There are a few types of basketball parents.  I am one of those...ummm...vocal (some might say obnoxious, but I prefer enthused) parents. I can get a tad bit carried away during an intense game, and I tend to cheer a bit too loudly for my husband's liking.( I can usually tell when he has had enough of me when he a) puts his finger in his ear so that I don't  "blow out his eardrums" or b) he starts to scoot a little bit farther and father away from me and is eventually three rows down and 5 seats over. ) These parents are usually there for every game. We are all cheering for each other's kids and love it when the kid that doesn't get a lot of playing time sinks the basket. There are the parents (and also grandparent) that are there strictly to be good parents. They aren't really interested in what is going on during the game, but they are dedicated to their kid and want to be there for him/her. They are talkers. They like to talk about everything but what is going on in the game. Then there are the parents that would love to watch the game but have other, smaller kids with them, so that the majority of the game is spent making trips to the bathroom and the snack bar. These poor parents never have a clue as to what is actually going on during the game because they usually don't see more than a minute and 15 seconds of the game at a time. Been there done that. (Thank heavens for older kids that can babysit!!) While basketball parents cheer for all of the kids and there is a definite feeling of camaraderie, it is a hard group to crack. It is frustrating to me because I had my group of baller parents. We had been in the bleachers from the time our kids were old enough to shoot a ball. We had watched the kids grow from little 3rd graders that could barely dribble and walk at the same time, to high schoolers flying up and down the court making passes without looking, just sensing where the other players were. We stood side by side on senior night, with tears in our eyes as we looked up to our graduating players. It was my basketball family. With Isaac entering 7th grade, I was ready to watch the next wave of bballers grow from little 7th graders to big bad seniors. I had been watching these boys for the last 3 years play ball in elementary school and it was time to move up to the next level. And then we moved.  Not only did Isaac leave his teammates, I had to leave my basketball moms. This sucked. It still sucks. There have been a few nice parents that have reached out and talked to me, but in general, I sit with Brian and whichever kids wanted to come, or I sit alone. Not fun. But I know that these things take time. I have to stick it out and so does Isaac. And just as Isaac and his new team develop their chemistry and find their groove, so will I and some bball parents. I hope. 

**As a brief side note, I have actually met several perfect lovely people that I would consider friends since moving, several being neighbors within walking distance. (One that has a particularly sweet brand new baby that I could just scoop up and steal...but I won't...maybe.) So I am not sitting here wallowing in loneliness as I stare at the wall all day. I just wallow in the bleachers. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

It's the most wonderful time of the year...for real!

It was almost a year ago when Brian and I first stepped through the front door of our home. I had gone to Steubenville with Brian for the University Christmas party. In a twist of events, that can only be described as miraculous, we were invited to check out Chris and Linda Padgetts' home. As we walked up the front steps, I was struck by the beauty of the gorgeous front door. We walked into a house bursting with kids and activity and Christmas and charm and a lot of other good things. I fell in love. It probably helped that Chris and Linda have 9 kids too, so I felt immediately at home. In my Christmas obsessed mind, I was already hanging garland and decorating our tree in the front room. As we walked back to our car, I told Brian that if I was moving to Steubenville, it had to be into that house. He laughed and pointed out that we didn't even know what the asking price for the house was. I told him that I didn't care, it was that house...period.

Fast forward a year or so... we have been so abundantly blessed. We bought this big, old, charming, Hough-sized home. And it is finally time to bust out the Christmas decorations. I have to admit that after thinking about it for a year, I was actually kind of nervous to do it. In our old house, I had a system. I could get the entire house decorated from top to bottom in a day. Now I was starting from scratch. EEEK!  

I know that a lot of people think that it is still too early to decorate, but I was born in December and Christmas just flows through my blood. I can't help it. But, I absolutely recognize the importance of Advent and preparing to receive the little baby Jesus into our hearts on Christmas day. We do Advent readings and prayers and light our Advent candles. We try to push the importance of giving, not getting. We have a list of different service projects that we would like to do over the next few weeks. And a new addition to our decorations...our Advent tree. It is decorated with pink and purple bulbs and each night as we do our Advent prayers, we replace a pink or purple bulb with a silver one. By Christmas it will be all white and silver! It is a tangible way to remind the little ones that we are preparing for Christmas and they can slowly see that it is getting closer. 

2015 Advent Tree

A cool thing about this new house, that I didn't have in the old house...mantles and fireplaces! Our stockings have been hung with care and a lot of 3M hooks.

We also have a fireplace in the living room.  We placed the nativity set there as a reminder of the real reason of this holiday.

And finally we put our tree up. The husband has outdone himself again. Every year, I am sure that he has chosen the prettiest tree and will never be able to top it. And every year, he does. He came up big this year with a beautiful Fraser fir.

Our new ornament

Ta Da!

It has been a crazy, busy year of change and chaos. A new job, new house, new schools, new friends, new church... But it has been a good year. It is obvious that this was all in God's plan and as He gradually allows it to unfold, I am in awe of his blessings. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A different type of blog

One of the things that has always weighed on my heart is the whole issue of abortion. I know that it is a touchy subject, although to me, the truth has always seemed crystal clear. I have always wanted to somehow stand up and be a voice for the unborn, but for the last, I don't know, zillion years, I have been pregnant or nursing or herding a little flock of Houghlings about. Because I wasn't able to go out and take a stand physically, I have always opted to do so spiritually, offering up prayers for the unborn. The end of abortion is a constant intention during family prayers, each night. It is a tricky one to explain to the little ones, but still something that I feel needs to be addressed, albeit very delicately.  In their little minds, it is impossible to even imagine a mommy not wanting to have a baby, let alone destroying the life of a baby that is already growing in her belly.

We are now at a point in the life of our family that the kids are all a little bit older. Jonathan, the baby is already 4. This makes it much easier to actually do things. So that is just what we did. We volunteered to participate in our church's Life Chain as part of Respect Life month. So from 2:00 until 3:00 this afternoon, we stood along Sunset Blvd holding signs and peacefully praying for all of the lives in jeopardy. 

As we held our signs, and the cars drove by, many honked there horns and gave us a thumbs up sign. Many smiled and waved in support as they drove by. I was standing there looking at my little ones, thinking about how this was such a good lesson for them. They were seeing first hand how great it is to stand up for something that you believe in. That is when it happened. A young 20ish looking girl came out of her apartment building across the street from where we were. She stood there looking up and down the street as she smoked her cigarette. Before I knew it, she was in her car and driving slowly down the street flipping us all off. Thankfully the little boys had no idea what she was doing, but the other kids looked on in horror. A few minutes later it happened again. And then a young "man" (I am using this term loosely, because there was nothing manly about what he did.) drove down the street, put his window down and yelled out  as he passed Hannah and Gianna and the little boys and I, "Women deserve the right to f*%@ing choose!" That is how you are going to address children?? If you don't agree with what we were doing, please, feel free to come and discuss it with me, their mother, but there is no reason to use that kind of language around my children. I was upset and frustrated by the incident, but then I realized that standing up for what you believe in and for what you know in your heart is right and true is what we are called to do. But in this fight for the truth, there is always persecution from the dark side. That is what makes the fight necessary. We have to speak up. We have to be willing to fight. Sometimes the fight is in the form of a discussion. Sometimes it is prayerfully standing alongside the road with a sign or praying in front of an abortuary. Sometimes it is in the form of praying a rosary. Whatever the way, we just need to keep fighting.

The signs that we were holding, read things such as "Jesus Forgives and Heals" and "Adoption, a Loving Option", "Abortion Hurts Women" and "Abortion Kills Children." All of these things are true. There was nothing printed on the signs that could be taken as false. Abortion does, in fact, stop a beating heart resulting in the death of a child. And adoption... oh my, there are so many childless couples that would love to adopt a tiny baby. In fact there are many couples with a lot of children that would be thrilled to welcome another little one into the family. ( I absolutely would!) But the one sign that really resonated within me today,, was the one that said that abortion hurts women. I do not believe that every woman who chooses an abortion does so, fully believing that it is absolutely the best option. I cannot allow myself to believe that every woman that has an abortion, does so without a shred of remorse or regret. I know that there are women that feel that due to a medical issue, whether it is an issue with the baby or the mother, that they have no alternative. The belief that it is, somehow, merciful to end the life of a special needs child, breaks my heart. My heart aches for these women.  I don't care what brought them to this point. It really doesn't matter. What does matter is that they need our prayers. They need our compassion. And ultimately, they need the forgiveness and mercy of a Loving Father. 

Please pray for the end of abortion.

Please pray for all women that are contemplating abortion.

Please pray for all women that have had an abortion.

Please be a voice for those that can't speak for themselves.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Random ramblings and update

So you know how as a parent you say super encouraging things to your kids? You urge them to step out of the box and do things that they might not be comfortable doing because you know that it is for their own good. Yeah, well I am a master at giving the encouragement, but a buttsucky recipient. I am quite happy to sit snugly in my box all wrapped up in my familiar comfort. But in an effort to grow (ugh), I have placed a teeny tiny toe outside of my box of comfort. Brian was telling me in a very informative, nonchalant manner about a class being offered at the university. He is amazingly intuitive when it comes to how my rebellious nature flares when someone makes a "suggestion" to me about what I "should" do. But I surprised him, (and me) when I said that I would go. 

For the next 7 weeks I am attending a class where we are studying the Bible after which I will be certified to lead said class. I must admit that I cannot see that happening. I feel very insecure and pretty Catholic stupid here. Hence, my agreeing to go to the class. But I am trying, I really am. 

Anywhooo, I am sitting in the first class, where I arrived embarrassingly early, and I was observing all of these young, wrinkle-free, fresh-faced children filling in the seats around me. I couldn't help but think "I could literally be their mom." And then Coley came in an slid into the seat beside me. "Hello Momasita!" That is when it punched me in the throat. "Holy crap, I was one of these kids mom!!!" 

Now that Brian works at the university, I could attend for free. I have tossed around the idea of going back to school to take a few classes. But the thought makes me super anxious. First of all I have birthed 6 kids and parented 9. They have sucked my brain dry of all things scholarly. I no longer have the ability to retain information. Not to mention the fact that Jonathan is still at home with me. But Jonathan will be in kindergarten next year, so who knows?!?  One of my new friends, Lisa, is a mom and a wife and a full-time student. I am in awe of her. I cannot even imagine how she does it. But she does do it and she does it well. 

It is definitely something to think about. I think about a lot of things. And when I think about things, I stress about things. And when I am stressed, I eat and I nest. Recently my nesting has developed into fall decorating and house projects. 

My beautiful dining room. <3 p="">

Artwork by DJ and PJ(also known as JP)

This house helps to soothe away the anxiety. I guess that is because it no longer feels like a house, it is now feeling like home. But not just any home, our home. My dear friend, Jessie, told me that as the year continues along and we are here to experience more and more of our family celebrations, we will feel more at home. She was right.

 Case in point, Our first birthday party in the new house:

Soccer in Steubenville :Season 1

Aiden and the Earthquakes

The spectators...Isaac's legs look so long.

Miss Gianna and the Crew


Noah and the Dynamos

Isaac and the Crusaders

So as we settle into our new house and make a life here in Steubenville, we are starting to feel at home. Slowly but surely.

However, one thing that I am not sure that I will ever get used to, is the crazy fog and stink that takes over in the evening and lasts until it burns off in the morning.  Ick. The Steubenville stench is no joke my friends. Thank you Yankee candles for your existence.