In the Zwischenzeit

Right at this moment I am sitting in the children’s are of our local library watching the boys play on a rainy morning. To any onlooker I probably look like the average millennial mom who is checked out on her phone instead of actively playing with them.

But the boys are perfectly content playing together and letting me pen this while I finish my coffee. And I am enjoying a break from being touched.

Almost a month ago I was let go from my job of almost 3.5 years. Right now we’re in a transition period, or as I think of it “a Zwischenzeit”. I’ve slipped into the role of being a stay-at-home mom while working through what our next steps for the upcoming changes are.

In the next week and a half:

  • JP will be heading to Austria to teach for 6ish weeks
  • My parents will be arriving to:
  • Help up pack up and move to Houston!!

So yeah. We’re moving back to Texas. And the whole thing came together in less than two weeks. Holy lightspeed Batman. But things keep falling into place just right so it looks like God/fate/the brownie points want us to go in this direction.

Leaving Bloomington is going to be a little bittersweet — JP and I have been here since 2011, and both boys were born here. But Houston is also going to be wonderful because we’re going to be close to both sets of grandparents, and the boys will be able to meet and play with their two cousins (one per side) who both arrived at the end of last year. Plus, on a sillier note – ALL THE TEX MEX!!

So, here we are. The Zwischenzeit.

Now I’m off to read some books about dinosaurs and trucks 🙂

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Frohe Ostermontag!

Happy Easter Monday!! Things were a little hectic yesterday, but even with the bumps throughout the day starting at 2am due to a certain baby being bright-eyed and bushy tailed… and a certain border collie who solved the mystery of the missing pacifiers (ugh. I may have rage ordered a mini carpet cleaner on Amazon last night…) we still had a wonderful Sunday!

This year was the first year Bernhard got to dye eggs, and it was actually a lot of fun! He was also SUPER excited to LOOK for the plastic eggs throughout out home – and I keep going back and forth if I’m a miserly mom or a genius: I filled all of the plastic eggs with kid bandaids. They were Paw Patrol and PJ Mask bandaids, so not totally boring, but they were totally NOT sugar filled, which while may not be *as* fun, it also means less sugar going into MY body.We were very fortunate to be invited to a wonderful Easter feast held by the friends of one of John Paul’s fellow graduate students. It had been a very long time since we had not hosted a holiday meal at our place and even longer since we had attended a dinner party with company like was had yesterday. It was absolutely wonderful, and I’m hoping that we made some new friends in Bloomington as a result. (Introvert and working mom problems, amiright? I shall remain hopeful)

It struck me this morning when I was pumping the thing that made Easter dinner so enjoyable was that everyone there was not just religious, but they all exuded the joy that their faith brought them, and, as I type this I realize how sad this sounds, this isn’t something we’ve experienced since moving to Bloomington. It was SO refreshing, and as I said I do hope it leads to some relationships because I had a little glimmer of what I realized that I so desperately have yearned for a very long time.

I also can’t decide if this was a good Lenten season or not looking back. I certainly felt that it was the “lentiest” lent I’ve had in a while. There seemed to be more downs than ups for me in various ways, including trying to get into confession for weeks on end and missing out on partaking in the Eucharist for quite a few Sundays. Miraculously both John Paul and I were able to make eleventh hour confessions on Saturday afternoon, meaning I could partake at Easter Mass. This small small detail has me hopeful that this Easter Octave and Easter season will be wonderful.

Indeed we are an Easter people!

This is NOT ok – LMLD drama

So last weekend a blog post was written by a Catholic blogger with a pretty big following posted something that has created waves.

The topic that has people up in arms?  Being a Catholic mom and working or not working.

It’s her blog, I know I’m likely not her target audience, and she’s entitled to write out her thoughts buuuuut getting, excuse the term, butthurt because people disagree with you on something you put out publicly and then playing the victim because people are big meanies is not ok. It’s not uncharitable to voice disagreement.  It simply isn’t.

I commented several times myself on the a fore mentioned blog post, as well as on JoAnna’s response post to this. Very few of my comments were actually approved, because unlike myself or JoAnna, it appears Auntie Leila vets everything. (Well, actualluy — I delete comments that link to porn or are spam – yes the porn thing has happened.  It’s not cool!) Instead of allowing dialog, the vast majority of the approved comments belittled Catholic working moms, their husbands, their situations, and worst yet accused saints of harming their child who became a DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH.

Aside from commenting on the LMLD postseveral times I also tweeted Leila:

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Hello 2018

It’s 2018!  To review 2017

  1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before? Moved into a house!! In the 8 years we’ve been married we’ve only been in apartments.  I LOVE the house!!
  2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Some, but not all. Totally failed on finishing my 2017 book list, but JP ans I are making them tonight over some wine and a board game.
  3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes!! Babies!!! I’m finally an aunt to a sweet little niece and adorable little nephew.  I can’t wait until I can meet them both in person.
  4. Did anyone close to you die? After JP returned from his grandfather’s funeral at the beginning of the year my maternal grandmother passed away shortly after.
  5. What countries did you visit? None. We didn’t travel a whole lot this year.
  6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017? A bigger nest egg and no debt.
  7. What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory and why? September 6th – hello Henry! And then October 6th, his baptism.
  8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Henry 🙂 And JP officially got ABD status with the university.  Yes, I’m bragging on that.  His PhD is a freaking big deal 😀
  9. What was your biggest failure? Maintaining work/life balance.
  10. Did you suffer illness or injury? February and March were rough with a marathon of colds – compounded by the fact that you can’t take the good drugs when you’re gestating someone new. Does Henry’s c-section count here?  I mean, I feel like I agreed to that, so I don’t know if I’d count it as suffering, but it was a rather large medical event.
  11. What was the best thing you bought? Movers.  Seriously, we would not have been able to do it without hiring someone with my heavily pregnant self.
  12. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Henry’s birth and his baptism.  Our first Christmas in a house.
  13. What song will always remind you of 2017? Oh hard one… um, I really have no idea this year.  Maybe The Good Old Days by P!nk?
  14. Compared to this time last year, are you: Thinner or fatter? Slightly thinner. Thank you breastfeeding perk.  As I type this out I’m eating Christmas cookies…
  15. Richer or poorer? Poorer.  I took 10 weeks of maternity leave which was largely unpaid.  *insert comment about US leave laws*
  16. What do you wish you’d done more of? Making our marriage a priority.
  17. What do you wish you’d done less of? Complaining.
  18. Did you fall in love in 2017? Yes!  With our newest little mister. I now have three loves of my life.
  19. What was your favorite TV? So, I was totally late to the party on this one, but Downton Abbey!  So so SO good!  I cried when I finished the series.
  20. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? None that I can think of.  More annoyed with people sure, but I can’t think of anyone new.
  21. What was the best book you read? Of the books on my list from last year I’m going to say the most thought provoking was Hillbilly Elegy.
  22. What was your greatest musical discovery? Lame as it is, I can’t think of anyone… I didn’t really try to branch out that much this year.
  23. What did you want and get? A baby!
  24. What did you want and not get? A vbac.  Though, Henry came into the world how he needed to, and my OB was amazing right to the end.  And I’m pretty sure he was more disappointed than me.
  25. What did you not want and get? My maternal grandmother dying.  I still miss her (and my paternal grandmother too) a lot.  They both would have loved Henry.
  26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 31, we went out to dinner for middle eastern food and I got cheesecake.
  27. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? While it was a slow year that started off rocky with grandparent deaths and funerals, I think overall it was a decent year for us.
  28. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
  29. What kept you sane? My number 1 mister.  And some online Catholic groups.  Oh, and my PCP.  She’s been awesome with helping me through the postpartum gumbo.
  30. Which celebrity/public figure did you follow the most? Uh… probably the Pope?
  31. What political issue stirred you the most? I’m just going to sum it up with people not keeping their hands to themselves.  Asshats.
  32. Who did you miss? Family as always.  The latter part of this year I’ve really missed Germany too.  So basically the same answer as last year.
  33. Who was the best new person you met? I’m going to say Kaitlyn who I met in 2016 at a BiS brunch I hosted, but we reconnected thanks to a Catholic mom facebook group.  She blogs over at Tea With Tolkien and is awesome.  Aside from Kaitlyn, I’ve made lots of great connections with some awesome Catholic women online and I hope to meet some of them someday.
  34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017:
    Breathe and focus.
  35. Quote a song lyric or something that sums up your year: This meme:

What’s in a name?

For God allows parents to choose the name by which he himself will call their child for all eternity”

Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia (166)

One of the first things people always ask when you announce you’re pregnant, well after they ask the due date and gender, is what you’re going to name your baby.  Some people know what the name will be from the moment a pregnancy test confirms that there is a little occupant in mommy’s womb, others have no clue until baby makes his or her appearance and mom and dad meet the baby.  JP and I fall into the latter camp.

Also, when  you have a baby lots of people seem to have input one way or the other.  My due date groups with both boys were full of people who had HUGE anxiety over IF their name was right, or over some relative who *hated* the name.  I know we received input from lots of people when we were thinking about names for both boys.- input we’d normally thank people for and then go on with our ideas, and continue to pray about it.

With both boys we walked into the hospital with two or three names, likely knowing their middle names, and it took laying our eyes on and holding both of our sons to know what they’d be called.

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It’s a Geek Life 2017 Last Minute Gift Guide!

Disclaimer: This is a collaboration post with RawSpiceBar, who longtime readers will know is a company we’ve worked with for a couple years now. I was super excited that despite a light blogging year that RSB reached out to collaborate again this year. Keep your eyes peeled for some cooking posts in the net couple months too!

Hello mid-December.

Guess what internet.  Guess WHAT!

Christmas is a week, read it A W-E-E-K, meaning 7 days away!

Eeeep. Cue panic!!

Hopefully *most* of us have finished our Christmas shopping (I did wrap up the gifts for the boys a couple weeks ago), BUT if you haven’t there is still time to do some non-Amazoned gifts!  And even better, there are LOTS of options for the “millenial” itch of providing an experience or something bigger than a  mere material gift or the SUPER awesome gifts that keep coming after Christmas is over.  Here are some of my favorite ideas:

One // Book Subscription Boxes

A gift that we always love for the boys is books.  And their room reflects this – well, and that we live in the same town as a Half Price Books Outlet (LOTS of great board books for a dollar!).  Bernhard is also to the age where he’d becoming more and more aware that the mail man brings mail.  Getting books monthly would be awesome to gift to your favorite little person.

Two// Heifer International or other Chairitable Orgs.

Heifer International is a chairty that has been on my radar since high school. As the name suggests, you can donate money towards a cow or other livestock animal, as well as multiple other items like water pumps, sending children to school, supporting farmers, and projects.  I know when I was younger my parents donated in the name relatives for things like chickens, seeds, etc.  My aunts and uncles thought it was greate!

Three// State Park Pass

Since Bernhard was litlte we’ve used part of any Christmas money we’ve received to invest in an Indiana State Parks pass.  Gifting this to your favorite outdoorsy people will make you their favorite person 😉

Four// Food Delivery

Bloomington has a few companies that will let you use their website to order from any number of restruants.  One of JP’s professors generously gifted us a gift certificate to one of these services after Henry was born.  Food is awesome.  Gift dinner to someone!

Five // RawSpiceBar

If your giftee is more of a kitchen chemist, I LOVE RawSpiceBar!  Fresh spice delivered to your giftee’s door.  And RSB has revamped their subscription service!  Now spices are received on a quarterly basis (choose 6 or 12 months), and (this is seriously my favorite thing) the packets are BIGGER!  Which means you’re not limited to only using the mixes for one meal.  Additionally, if your giftee falls hardcore in love with one of the blends that they receive you can order MORE OF THAT SPICE!!! I still dream about some of the Octoberfest kit spices from a year or two ago…

A long awaited introduction

Tomorrow this little one turns THREE MONTHS OLD!! (And gets to celebrate his first St. Nick’s day)

Internet – officially meet our newest: Henry Alexander!

We welcomed this little one air-side on September 6th at 4:40pm via repeat c-section. We were aiming for a vbac, but due to various factors it was not the route little mister needed to come out.

We are so happy he’s here and the last three months with him in our little family have been awesome. He is the happiest baby!! And Bernhard has been awesome at filling his role as big brother. I love seeing these two interact now, and am looking forward to seeing them grow up together.