For me, Mass can sometimes feel like a war zone. Us verses them. I often spend the time trying to anticipate potential threats that could mean "Mass destruction" at the hands of our 5 under 5: Song books - potential weapons (or casualties), my clothing - potential wardrobe malfunction-in-waiting, the people sitting in front of us - potential victims susceptible to unsolicited back scratches and hair tugging.Read More
You can be an amazing parent with great strategies for motivating, disciplining and forming your children, but then you get that one kid (or two) who makes you feel like you have the parenting skills of a blind, disoriented buffoon.Read More
"I can't believe He's not answering my prayer," I told my husband. My husband's response was, "He always answers our prayers." My eyes were burning with tears at that point.
"But His answer is no, so it doesn't really feel like an 'answered prayer'."
It's almost Mother's Day and I wanted to share some of the ways my husband makes me feel like everyday is Mother's Day. A couple of items he's still working on - he struggles with carrying a diaper bag that could be described as pretty or fashionable, but other than that... totally blessed, so without further ado:
12 Beatitudes for Overachiever Husbands/DadsRead More
...This time around a couple of my daughters had a good dose of this type of pain. My seven year old, who is usually the one to fiercely tighten her lip and "will" her way through painful experiences, was wailing, her eyes flashing panic. It broke my heart to see her in such a state. "I can't take anymore!" she cried, "What can I do?!?" I whispered, "I'm so sorry you're going through this. I wish more than anything that I could take your pain away." I would have even gladly born it for her.
Then she crushed me.Read More
The young woman helping us asked about my colossal belly and I told her it was baby number eleven (eviction notice posted for next month). I witnessed the usual jaw drop and waited for her to regain her composure. "I can't even imagine!!!" she stammered. I fully understood, because there was a time I couldn't ever have imagined. It wasn't before I had children either, because for as long as I can remember I've always wanted a dozen kids! I had the image of me gliding through the meadow followed by my short-statured posse, Von Trapp style - it may or may not have included singing and frolicking... if it did, I'm not quite ready to admit it.
And then I had my first baby. BAM!Read More
"Are you sure you're not having twins?"
It's the question you might think I'd get from a stranger, but I find it's the question I ask myself as I look in the mirror and then I reply... to myself, "Nope, that was the last pregnancy."
It's days like these that I have to do some serious reflecting to pull myself back to the reality of what it is I'm doing.Read More
Last Tuesday, I was wearing bright pink, Mini-Mouse head pajama pants for most of the day. In all fairness, I was reupholstering a chair and I knew that would require a lot of bending and squatting, which when performed by a mom, almost seven months pregnant with her 11th, can be somewhat unsightly -flesh toned crescent shapes popping up in all the areas maternity wear had promised to cover. Mini-Mouse offered coverage and I've accepted that sometimes a pregnant girl just has to wear what fits... and what hides things that should be concealed for the good of humanity.
However, on this particular day, I was greeted by one of my enthusiastic sons. "The mayor's here!" I froze while my eyes popped...Read More
I just recorded a CRAAAAZAAY video (you can view it here) a couple days ago. I thought it would be all serious, informative and an opportunity to demonstrate my obvious true calling as an engaging TV personality. To achieve this, I had a plan to hide from my kids. I set up my makeshift studio (aka my bedroom) and within minutes nine of my ten kids had bombarded me... all the while, unbeknownst to me, my two year old daughter had slipped into my bathroom and was meticulously caking mascara Lady Gaga style all over her face. Little monster!
At the end of it all, it wasn't what I had in mind. It involved lots of drool, continuous imaginative bed-fainting and braid-slapping, which I learned really is a thing.Read More
I admit it. Lent scares me a little. It started when I told a priest that I wasn't sure if I was giving up enough for Lent. I was pregnant and so unable to fast in a way that I wanted to (this is now the fifth year in a row that I've been pregnant during Lent). He assured me that I didn't need to worry too much, that God would probably help me out with that by assigning me the best cross for my sanctification. I looked at him in terror and spent the entire Lent looking over my shoulder - actually it was more in front of me...Read More
I looked at my jacket (charcoal-grey navy style). It looked at me. Not really, but in that moment I felt like it did, beckoning me with a promise, "Come on. You know what you have to do. I'll never tell."Read More
I'm not kidding. The Holy Spirit honestly sent me a pencil sharpener. It's a heavy duty (Panasonic) plug-in that looks like it could handle the flurry of pencils we somehow manage to go through in the course of only one school day.Read More
A priest once told me that there were two types of marriages that he had come across. The first he referred to as "Sandpaper Marriages". He said that in those marriages, the refinement of the couple was to come from extreme friction in the relationship between spouses. Each spouse grinding their rough surface against the other, until slowly, over the years, both of their surfaces become smoother, more ready to soften to the needs of the other.Read More
This past Saturday we went to a wedding for a lovely couple. So lovely were they, that our WHOLE family was invited and so lovely were they, that we were willing to get ten children ready for their blessed event.Read More
A few weeks ago, we were at the World Meeting of Families in Philly. We were stared at, stopped and photographed as we wheeled around our four-seater stroller followed by our six other children. We were something of a spectacle. People exclaimed, "Wow! Ten children!" I had a secret though. Unbeknownst to the spectators, we had actually smuggled in an eleventh child to the conference.Read More
It’s becoming exceedingly difficult to write as of late. I’m in my 33rd week of this twin pregnancy and with my ginormous belly measuring 45 weeks, even reaching the keyboard has become quite the feat. I’ve also acquired strange looking hobbit feet and cannot for the life of me figure out how Bilbo Baggins was so stealthy on his when mine are making me feel about as graceful as a Sasquatch, with a belly big enough that I can’t even see my own crazy-big feet.Read More
I spent years dreaming of the perfect proposal. My favorite consisted of me walking through the hauntingly beautiful woods with my soon-to-be fiancé – he, leading me down a pathway of candles (you don’t worry about fire hazards when your planning your dream proposal) and I, walking gracefully with a look of wonder and anticipation… with my hair billowing behind me. He would stop me at the end of the path, reach into the opening of a hollowed tree, out of which he would produce a small box, open it, kneel and well, you can probably guess the rest.
It didn’t end up happening that way. Not even close.Read More
In that little cottage, I had two little ones and was expecting my third. My grandmother had become ill and required assistance. With no one else in a position to take her in, we decided to invite her to stay with us. We partitioned off a section of our living room to be her “bedroom” and we tried stop the children from using Grandma’s oxygen hose as a skipping rope (especially while it was attached to her nose).Read More
I’m having twins, so my midwives have referred me to an OB. I’ve been dreading my first appointment with him, and I’m not disappointed. He reads my history. “Eight children at home, the oldest is only eleven years old, five past miscarriages, and twins on the way. I have to ask the question… contraception?”Read More