1. I kept wondering why everyone was posting on facebook about New Years' the other day and the I realized "oh my goodness! it's almost 2012!" I completely forgot that the new year was upon us! 2011 was another year of memory making and growth and I can't wait for what 2012 will bring. A year with no house projects, a new baby, watching the kids get bigger and bigger...placing everything in the good Lord's hands and asking Him to watch over us and bless our efforts this coming year.
2. Jennifer Fulwiler (an atheist who converted to Catholicism and who is an excellent writer) created what's called the "Saint's Name Generator." It's a fun way to have a Patron Saint for the New Year chosen at random for you. I did it a year ago and it came up with St. Eugene de Mazenod. He's the patron saint of dysfunctional families, and probably had something to do with my mini-conversions throughout the year in the way I talk to my husband and kids. (Thanks for the prayers, St. Eugene! I couldn't have worked on my patience and kindness without your help...) One of his quotes that really set my inspiration for the year is: "In your hearts a love for Christ, and in the world a zeal for souls." I put in on the white board in our kitchen to remind me of my purpose in life and to keep this calling right in front of me.
3. A couple days ago, I did the Saint's Name Generator again to come up with my patron saint for this year. How it works is you click once, wait (hang out for a few seconds, say a little prayer if you wish), and click the button again. My saint for this year: St. Margaret of Antioch. Cool, I thought, although I didn't know much about her. And then I looked below her name to read what she is the patron saint of and I was hit like lightening with the knowing that this is the protectress the Holy Spirit wishes me to have this year. For she is the patron saint of pregnancy, pregnant women, childbirth, dying people, nurses, against loss of milk during nursing (!), and against sterility. Being 8 1/2 months pregnant, if that doesn't catch you off guard........ I will be asking St. Margaret to intercede for me and our unborn child as we near his or her entrance into the world, and I pray that she storms the throne of Christ and asks Him to have mercy and shower grace upon our family. Man, I love the Communion of Saints. How awesome is it to have people, in Christ's presence, talking to Him for you? Rock on.
4. I don't get kids sometimes. Namely, I don't get how Max can majorly poop in the middle on the night and not notice. I went to check on him before I went to bed myself, and by the smell of it, I knew something was up. So, I turned on the light, picked him up and changed his diaper (a diaper so big that almost resulted in a changing of the pj's too...but you really didn't need to know that part) All the while, he stayed asleep. He put his hands over his eyes as I changed him, and after I laid him back in his crib, he didn't move a muscle. Talk about laid back.
5. Quoteboard, Max style.
Me: Hi buddy! Good Morning!
Him: Awala? (translated: Avila)
Me: She's still sleeping.
Me: He's at work.
6. Every night, sometimes at dinner/sometimes at bedtime, we share our happy part and sad part of the day. It's a really neat insight into a child's perceptions of what made them happy and sad that day and often time Avila's answers surprise us. The other night she said her happy part was "doing school with mom" and her sad part was "disobeying mom and dad and God." Moments like these make all the hard parts of parenting worth it.
7. And to end on a completely random, nothing to do with anyone else, note...I found the best lip scrub. You know, for the times during winter when lips are dry and flaky and chapstick doesn't do the trick. Best part, it's free (since just about every one of us have it already in our kitchens.) What is it: sugar. I rubbed some sugar on my lips (or you can mix with vaseline) for a few seconds and wiped it off. Smooth as silk. Plus, it's the best tasting lip treatment I've ever used!
8. And an 8th quick take, just for kicks...I am getting a little nervous about the playhouse my dad is building for the kids. My dad is seriously an awesome craftsman and we comissioned him to build an outside playhouse for us. I said I didn't need anything fancy, that I'd be happy with 4 walls, a door and a window - namely something to keep the kids dry and occupied outside during the rainy spring months. But get him and Michael together and there's bound to be disaster. When I start hearing things like "what's the coding and permit laws" and "running electricity" and "have michael call me back about the tube to connect the two attic lofts" and "dormers and front porch" and "slides coming from the second story" I am beginning to think this isn't going to be the average playhouse. All kidding aside, I am pretty excited, and knowing my dad, it's gonna be awesome. From the sounds of it, I just might move in there myself!
Happy New Year!