Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Just don't have more (kids)..."

Last night we went on our nightly walk, sans Mark who had a softball game, and stumbled upon a large group of neighbors hanging in their yard. Their girls invited my girls in to play for a bit so I have the obligation to stay and chat. I say obligation because I am finding over time that I just don't have much in common with these ladies but they are nice, our kids are around the same age and well, we aren't moving anytime soon, so I feel like I need to make nice and chat as best I can.

Since Miriam is the youngest of the group, and needs help on the swings, I hung with the 7 kids for the first 20 mins or so and chatted, played, helped all of them while their parents were lounging by the picnic table enjoying an adult beverage. Was I bothered by this, slightly. Did I wish that at least 1 of them would come over and acknowledge my presence or the fact that I was taking care of their kids, yes. Was I somewhat relieved that I could get to know the kids better and they know me better without any influence from their parents, absolutely. After awhile, Miriam got bored and wanted to play on the porch and the big kids went off and did their own thing, so I meandered over to the adult table and sat down, awkwardly.

"Oh, Colleen. We were just saying how it stinks that you have to be over with the kids all this time, since Miriam is so little."
"I don't mind it much. She still needs help"
"Just wait, in a few years, they can do it all on their own. Just don't have anymore!!!!!"
"Well, we probably will have more...I'm only 29... "
"You're crazy. We are done!"

So I've heard, for the past year you've said that, very openly and it makes me sad. Because that lady is just 30 and has two little girls that I am sure would love another younger sibling. And the other two ladies got married in their later 30s and may not be able to have kids anymore, but still, they think more than 2 is crazy.

And ya know, two is nice. They play well together, they have each other to learn from, talk to and hang out with, but honestly, the more I watch them, the MORE KIDS I WANT!!!

Seriously, those two girls are my life. They are my everything. And, I was thinking, this life I am living isn't mine at all! It's a gift from God. I am here to do HIS work and live out the vocation that HE chose for me and that vocation is to be married and be a mother. I feel so selfish when I look at motherhood as a box to check just so I can get on with MY life and persue MY dreams and fill up on all that society tells me is important.

I try to read the readings of the day and a reflection every morning and it never ceases to surprise me that the reflection hits the nail on the head within relation to my musings of late.
Here's the reflection (today is Mary Magdalene's feast day 7/22):

 "He died for all so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for Him Who for their sakes died and was raised up." —2 Corinthians 5:15  
 Many people think that living for themselves, doing their own thing, getting their way is the goal of life. However, after they try this for a while, they feel empty. At first, they think that the cause of their emptiness is failing to get their own way in everything. So they try to do their own thing even more, but this makes matters even worse. Finally, they begin to suspect that the constant, self-centering brainwashing they've received over the years was a big lie. Then these people hear about or remember when they heard about Jesus, the cross, dying to self (Lk 9:23), and following Jesus. Could it be that Jesus crucified is the Truth, the Way to happiness, and the Meaning of life? (see Jn 14:6) Mary Magdalene found out that there's no such thing as doing your own thing. When she thought she was doing her own thing, she was being manipulated and enslaved into doing the devil's things. She was possessed by seven devils (Lk 8:2). Finally, she met Jesus and decided to do His thing — even if it meant weeping at the foot of His cross (Jn 19:25) and at His grave (Jn 20:11). Through, with, and in Jesus, she discovered the meaning of life. She met Jesus, Who is Life (Jn 14:6), when He rose from the dead.   Prayer: Father, may I live a life of love, not of self.
(Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2014 through July 31, 2014.†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 2, 2014.)

I have "lived" for myself before and let me tell you where it got me....So freaking far from Jesus I was two steps from falling into a deep, deep, deep disrepair. I came to Jesus and asked him what He wanted from my life and slowly but surely, He has led me to the life I lead today.

How blessed I am to have these beauties call me Mom,

to have a husband who loves me and cherishes our marriage

and friends and family surrounding me endlessly.


How could I not want to watch the love to continue to grow? How selfish I feel when I say, yeah we're not going to have anymore so I can sit and drink the night away instead of spending 20 minutes pushing the kids on a swing.
Even Mark the other day said "The girls are growing so fast...they're not going to be little much longer." He's got a heart for the Lord and I know that he desires another sweet little soul to love on as much as I do. If that makes us crazy, then so be it. At least we'll be crazy together.

Friday, July 11, 2014

7Quick Takes - photo drop

Because I have ALWAYS been more of a visual person than a writer (i need to find old pics of my childhood room, it was covered from floor to ceiling with (mostly attractive men) posters. A different story for another day!

But here's the past week in photos! Enjoy!

Fourth of July
Apparently parades are a normal thing to most people on the 4th, but growing up we never saw one. Then I moved to Pittsburgh right before we married and came to find out that it was Mark's favorite holiday and the parade by his parent's house is a tradition from his childhood that he still keeps! 
Prior to the parade is a 5k race that 9 of his family members participated in...his bro in law wheel chaired 3.2 miles. He's a winner in my book!

And parades are really exhausting events...

The partied continued the next day at Mark's brother's house where they put on quite a bbq! There was water games, horse shoes, volleyball and MORE FOOD! 

And in the Gruber family, there's always a baby to hold. I pray it will be that way for as long as I'm alive!


Nothing says summer like water balloons, bonfires and cotton candy skies. 


So, Juliana begins official preschool in September! I was nervous because she's pretty advanced when it comes to talking, writing and counting and I didn't want her to be in a class with kids that had just turned 3 and were still potty training (no offense if that's your kid!)
Plus, she'll be 4 in October and is high energy, which needs to be directed in positive ways, otherwise...destruction!
But, her class list was printed when I went to pick up her packet and more than half of the class has end of the year birthdays and will be 4 before Christmas. 

So, I'm not sure if this a Pittsburgh thing but again, never had this growing up in MD...Church Festivals?

Every Catholic Church around puts on a huge (depends on size of church) carnival type event every summer. They last from 3-6 days and they are a HUGE money maker for the school. 
We went to the one at Samantha's school this past Monday (which is not our parish) and had a lovely time! Mark's bro and Juli's God-Father, Fr. (Uncle) Fred Gruber, met up with us and enjoyed some rides, funnel cakes, Rita's and socializing. 

One of Mark's other brothers is in Seminary to be an Oratorian Priest and he
was over our house for dinner before we left for the festival.
I love big Catholic families!

While at the Festival, I went perrusing through the Flea Market and got a super deal on a Janie and Jack skirt for Juls. 

These skirts run around $35-$40 and I got this for $1!!!!
Seriously, I love thrift shopping for the girls clothes!

I also spent part of the past week purging some of the clothes from the 15 bins of clothes that I have for the girls. Most of the clothing is sizes 3T and under!! I now have 2.5 trash bags full of clothes that I am going to consign in September at a Flea Market at Juli's school. And the girls still have WAY more clothes than I could ever dream of owning!

So...I'm crafty in the old fashioned way. Paper. Scissors. Glue and can even bake a thing or two and decorate it. But when it comes to computers, my husband takes the cake (no pun intended)! :)
I'm co-hosting a Baby Sprinkle tomorrow for a dear friend who's expecting her 3rd girl and I of course was browsing Pinterest looking for something to inspire me. I love making banner but we are having it at Olive Garden, so, that wouldn't work. 
I decided that we would give out a favor of  chocolate dipped pretzels covered in sprinkles and attached to it would be a tag "sprinkled with love"!
Cute right!
Now, it took some sweet talking and about 45 mins of my husband's night, but he made this

Yeah, that would have taken me 5 days and alot of unkind words to the computer, but he banged it out in less than an hour. 
Love him!! 

This isn't anything exciting except that I love finding my kids curled up on the couch with a book..

And the books almost as big as her! 

Have a happy weekend! :) Pop over to Jen's for more writing and probably less pictures! :)