Category Archives: Holidays

The Fifth Day of Christmas

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree!

These are said to represent the first five books of the Old Testament, often referred to as the Pentateuch.

Today’s suggested activity is for your family to sit down and write the following on decorative strips of paper:

  1. Their favorite thing that happened this Christmas season.
  2. Their favorite memory of last Christmas.
  3. Their favorite Christmas ever.
  4. Their funniest Christmas memory.
  5. One thing they hope to accomplish before next Christmas.

Then, staple the paper strips into a chain and use it as decoration in your home.

For me, as I do not live with anyone why don’t we play this online? Respond to one or more of the above either in comments, or on my G+ or FB accounts.

1. I loved going to Mass with my brother, goddaughter, and friends.
2. It was cute watching the kids from OLGC performing a Christmas play. There was a real baby playing the baby Jesus and the kids playing Joseph and Mary were so cute and loving.
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3. I don’t remember which Christmas it was, but some of my favorites were when I was a kid and my cousin, Anna, and I got to pass out the presents to everyone and afterward everyone would have a big “snowball fight” using gift wrap.
4. I liked watching my cousins’ kids, Petros and Kenzie, attacking everyone in the living room with a Stomp Rocket.
5. I would like to come up with a good plan for next Advent.

The Fourth Day of Christmas

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree!

The calling birds represent the four Evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and their Gospel accounts.

The suggested activity for today is to call at least four friends that you have been meaning to contact but haven’t gotten around to doing. As for me, I think that I will send a note in the mail and be truly old-fashioned. πŸ™‚ So, four of you, watch your mailbox!

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The Third Day of Christmas

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: three french hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree!

Three usually symbolize the Trinity but also may stand for the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity.

The suggestion for celebrating today is to try out a new chicken recipe, possibly Cornish hens. Good thing for me that today is not a Friday where we have to refrain from eating meat (since we are in the octave of Christmas)! I don’t think that I will be making a hen, as it’s just me. But what chicken dishes do you recommend?

Oh! I think I’ve found it! Garlic Cheddar Chicken!
Garlic Cheddar Chicken
It looks yummy! I hope mine turns out… πŸ™‚ Yay, third day of Christmas!

The Second Day of Christmas

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: two turtle doves (and a partridge in a pear tree)!

The doves stand for the Old and New Testaments, but also may represent the doves that were required as an offering when a male child was dedicated in the Temple at the age of 12.

Isn’t 2 doves also the offering for poorer families when the male child is presented at the Temple shortly after birth? I think that’s somewhere in Leviticus… Let me look… Yes. Leviticus 12 is all about this. This offering, for a male child, would happen about 33 days after birth, after the period of purification for the mother.

In an aside, I also recently learned that turtle doves are the same as mourning doves, which is the name by which I am more familiar.

Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove

As doves represent peace, the book recommends thinking up ways to spread peace. Hmmm… perhaps a good way would be to understand the position of people who do not agree with you. Even if you don’t come to a common understanding, if you have an idea of why they believe what they believe, then you can at least have sympathy for their position. Another way might be to practice humility in your daily life. If you are in the habit of being humble, you probably will be less inclined to being stubborn or prideful and letting disagreements escalate.

What are you thoughts on how we can spread peace?

The First Day of Christmas

The first day of Christmas is, of course, Christmas Day. Don’t let all the stores and advertisements tell you different! And it lasts until the 12th day of Christmas, which is the eve of Epiphany.

This year, I decided to celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas in a couple different ways. First, I’m going to be “giving” them as a present to my priest/best friend by doing different things for him in the style of the song. You can read more about that on my other blog. Second, I’m celebrating them more traditionally according to a book that I have, “Holiday Inspirations” by Better Homes and Gardens.

The book states that “The 12 Days of Christmas” is an English counting song reputed to have been established in the 1500s as a coded catechism for teaching the Catholic faith. They tell you how to make cute, themed gift boxes for each of the days, but I have neither the time nor the resources to make these. Plus, who would I pick to give them to? But, thankfully, there’s also different activities which can be done to symbolize each day.

The first day of Christmas is “A Partridge in a Pear Tree,” and they suggest celebrating with a themed meal. While partridge is rather difficult to find, my family and I had turkey for our Christmas dinner, and I think that totally counts. We are also supposed to have pears and cheese, along with other fruits and wine/sparkling juice or tea. However, the one pear I had in my fridge was all mushy and there were no grocery stores open on the way to my parents’, so it was basically just the turkey.

Technically, the song has us giving the partridge in a pear tree <em>every day, so I’m sure I can have my pears and apples some other time during this Christmas season and have it “count.” πŸ™‚

The book explains that, “The pear tree is said to symbolize the cross; the partridge, Jesus Christ, because a mother partridge risks her own life to save her chicks by luring predators away from the nest.”

Reflections on Mother’s Day

Mother's Day

Not all Mother’s Days are this bad. I lost my baby 8 years ago. It’s kind of amazing to think what my life might be like raising an 8-year-old. How very different.

Typically, I focus on the other mothers. My mom, certainly. And other people who have been as mothers in my life: Pat, Mom Duffy, Mom Riccardo, and others. I pray for them. Sometimes, I get them presents. This year, I got chocolate-covered strawberries for my mom (instead of picking out the most bizarre flower that I can find, per usual). And for Mom Riccardo, I picked up a small vase of flowers at a new florist. This place was so new, they didn’t even have a proper display in their showroom. It looked like a tiny workroom instead, except with a dinette set and a fat cat sitting in a chair. LOL! πŸ™‚

I pray for my friends who have children and hope they have a great day. I look at all of the posts on Facebook. The presents and the flowers and all of the cute things that mothers and kids do together to celebrate each other. It’s lovely and joyful.

I pray for my baby.

Usually at Mass, they have all the women stand up and give us all a blessing. This Sunday, however, Fr. Moses had the Mass. He had the mothers stand.

I did not stand. I didn’t think this included me. My child is dead.

He said a few words, then Deacon Ron interjected that godmothers and “all women” should stand. Perhaps they had intended to be inclusive from the beginning, but after all the “real” mothers were already standing, there’s something prohibitive about standing now. Like, if I stand now I am a fraud, and announcing this fact publicly before the whole church.

All of it hit me like a knife to the heart. I had wanted that baby more than anything. We had tried for so long. And here I am now — years later — with no baby and no husband. My mom made a comment recently that she and my dad had guessed that they’d probably not be getting any grandchildren, as my brother is also unmarried. I can’t do anything about that. I would love to give them grandchildren, to marry and have a family. But it doesn’t look like that is what God has planned for me. Not knowing God’s plan, I *felt* like a failure at life.

That’s how I ended up crying in church.

I took this picture in the car on my way home. For some reason, I wanted to document my pain. It happens, all too frequently, but no one seems to talk about it. Even the labeling can be harsh. If you miscarry early enough in pregnancy, it’s called a miscarriage. If you miscarry late, like I did, you get the diagnosis ABORTION, COMPLETE stamped all over your medical record. Even better, is when your doctor tells you that early miscarriages are usually due to some defect in the baby; whereas ones like yours are more likely to be a problem with the mother.

Thanks for that.

I thought the empty car seat in the photo was an extra dash of dramatic irony. I didn’t plan it that way; it was just the angle of the camera. I have it in there because I’m anticipating the birth of my (future) godchild. It happens to be pink, although we don’t know (and Dad doesn’t want to) the sex of the baby.

It rained ICE after Mass, which matched my mood pretty well. I cried all through my trip to the grocery store, where I bought “comfort food,” recalling the priest from confession who had told me that God can be found in ice cream. He wouldn’t lie, would he? So, I made sure that God would be in my house. πŸ™‚ I assume that He also comes in the form of chips and cookies, too.

Don’t fear for my nutritional health. It will take me WEEKS to eat this and I’ll pawn it off on others, too. Some of it is even healthy. πŸ™‚

UNRELATED to the junk food, I didn’t feel well for much of the day. Super-nauseated. Which is usually either because of my myopathy, or a low blood sugar. I hadn’t felt like eating much after Mass, but I had something small (and not junk). So, I don’t really know why I felt bad, just that I did.

I blame it on the greasy burger from yesterday. πŸ™‚ But that’s another story.

I went over my parents’ house for dinner. [Burgers. Haha! But these weren’t greasy and the green beans were DELICIOUS!] We had an enjoyable dinner and watched a couple programs about beach vacations, which helped, because it was FREEZING outside! 😦

Today is a new day, and I’m not sad in the same way. Not every day is sad. Not every Mother’s Day is sad. But it’s okay if you are, so long as you don’t despair.

God has a plan. And He loves us.

Safe!

Earlier this evening, I went out with a friend to see Les Miserables again. I still love it! Afterwards, we went to Chili’s for dinner. Towards the end of the meal, I was starting to not feel well, so when I got home, I decided to take a nap before Midnight Mass.

I set my alarm, but when it went off, I still wasn’t feeling better, so I kept hitting snooze.

Finally, I decided to get up and go. Because I really do love going to Midnight Mass to start off the new year. And because I was concerned that if I let myself just sleep, I might miss the 10 am Mass tomorrow morning. πŸ™‚

I really need about 20 minutes to make it to Ss. Cyril and Methodius on time, but left about a quarter to midnight. Traffic and lights were cooperative and I made it to a seat in the church just as the last bells of midnight were ringing and they were announcing the hymn for the processional. πŸ™‚ SAFE! I thought. Sliding in to home plate, just before the priest greets us all with a loud “Happy New Year!”

Week 1:  The New Year

It was a lovely Mass. As I sat in my car, ready to go home, the radio was on and I caught the tail end of one song. All I heard of it was a phrase, “See Heaven’s got plan for you.” And as I was leaving the parking lot, the next song sang to me, “I’m glad you came!” Both great things to hear right after Mass! πŸ™‚

If the link works, here is the first song that I was listening to:

Safe!

Earlier this evening, I went out with a friend to see Les Miserables again. I still love it! Afterwards, we went to Chili’s for dinner. Towards the end of the meal, I was starting to not feel well, so when I got home, I decided to take a nap before Midnight Mass.

I set my alarm, but when it went off, I still wasn’t feeling better, so I kept hitting snooze.

Finally, I decided to get up and go. Because I really do love going to Midnight Mass to start off the new year. And because I was concerned that if I let myself just sleep, I might miss the 10 am Mass tomorrow morning. πŸ™‚

Week 1:  The New Year

I really need about 20 minutes to make it to Ss. Cyril and Methodius on time, but left about a quarter to midnight. Traffic and lights were cooperative and I made it to a seat in the church just as the last bells of midnight were ringing and they were announcing the hymn for the processional. πŸ™‚ SAFE! I thought. Sliding in to home plate, just before the priest greets us all with a loud “Happy New Year!”

Christmas Season Header

Why do a whole blog post about a header? Well, why not! πŸ™‚

Christmas 2012

I — surprisingly — did not take a ton of pictures this Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. I did get to enjoy time with friends and family, at a more relaxed pace than usual.

From left to right:

Me on Christmas Eve.

My friend John, newly returned on break from a missionary adventure in Minnesota.

Katie and Lori, super kind and incredibly talented friends from high school.

Decorations from Katie’s Holiday Get-Together. (See what I mean about talented?)

Kenzie, my cousin’s daughter, who is about the cutest thing ever.

So, while New Year’s is right around the corner, Christmas season still goes on for a few more days. So snuggle up with your loved ones and enjoy them!

Fun at the Zoo Boo!

Sorry, everyone…. I’ve been quite sick lately, so EVERYTHING has fallen off my plate. Pretty sure I dropped the plate, too. I’ll try and catch up, if I ever get better. πŸ™‚

Krystin invited me to the Zoo Boo with her family. It was so cute to see Evie as a bee, especially when she would tell us that a bee says, “Buzz!” Dad Jerad was quite the trooper, carrying his little girl most of the way. It’s always awesome to be around parents as excited and involved as Krystin and Jerad. πŸ™‚

It was raining on the way over, but by the time we parked, the rain had stopped and we could see some blue sky peeking in:
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The Detroit Zoo had set up a short walking course dotted with candy stations manned by Zoo personnel in various Halloween costumes. Along the way, we got to look at tons of carved pumpkins and other visual delights.
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Look at the cute Kutler family! Ready to get CANDY! πŸ™‚
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Evie-Bee getting ready to get candy at the first stop:
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She looks a little unsure, but Daddy’s right there to keep her safe!
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Then, she took off running!
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We found a maze made of hay bales and chased Mommy through that.
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On the way to MORE CANDY, Mommy and Daddy helped their little bee fly!
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Treat Station #2
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Oh, Look! Another bee!
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And a Snowman Pumpkin!
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They didn’t seem to be as interested in looking at all of the pumpkin sculptures on the side of the walkway — at least not as much as I was. πŸ™‚ These things were CUTE!!!
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Okay, this one was kind of freaky…
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Cheezing for the picture:
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A family stroll:
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The Toy Story characters were there…
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Getting a family picture…
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The Reptile House was set up like a Haunted House of sorts. Really, they need to get creepier?!?
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Now, it was starting to get dark, but we were still able to take a look at the camels and deer.
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See how Daddy picks his Evie-Bee up?! πŸ™‚
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Mommy and Daddy leading Evie to the next candy station:
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Glow sticks — sold for a King’s ransom. Needless to say, we didn’t buy any.
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Aww! Polar Bear Pumpkins!
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I like this picture:
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They needed to have this drink station more in the middle of the walk, not the end….
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Zebra and Giraffe and Elephant Pumpkins!
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Yay! This was a fun Zoo Boo!
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The penguins watched us leave….
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Goodnight, Zoo!
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