Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve

I spent a few hours this evening with dad. He is worse than yesterday, the tube is back in and alot more stuff is backing up. He looks weaker also. He complained to me of pain today for the first time.....and he desperately wants a cup of coffee.

He also looked at me at one point and said "I am dying"....which just broke my heart. I feel like things aren't good and perhaps I agree, and I just wish he had better circumstances. Hell if he is dying, can I just give him a cup of coffee.....

Despite all the uncomfort of being in a bed for a week with a tube down his nose to his stomach dad is doing remarkably well....esp considering he is quite the hard hospital patient normally. When he was getting upset or in alot of pain he started to pray. He didn't cuss or yell at anyone and he smiled alot. He is kind of out of it as he keeps saying he is ready to walk back to his bedroom.

Tomorrow is Andy's last day off and then its back to work for him, so I will need to plan my visits with dad better so Sarah has someone to watch her.

Thanks for your prayers. My personal opinion, is that dad won't leave the hospital, but I haven't spoken with a doctor so who knows. My sister is the official doctor contact so unless I happen to catch the doctor when I am at the hospital, then she won't call me, she would call my sister....this is VERY frustrating to me, but I know where she is coming from.

Peace to all this last day of 2008.

Tube is back in

I went to see dad last evening and while it was great that the tube was out of his nose, it was hard to watch him cough up the icky bile. I got to clean him up and vaccum it out of his mouth. He was in great spirits though, but was complaining of pain for the first time I have seen him since Saturday.....pain was in his stomach so not sure if it was his stomach or the blockage in the intestines or his hernia.

My sister told me this morning his tube is back in. I had a feeling with the frequency of his coughing it would make a return. I asked the nurse what exactly the tube was doing and she said emptying out his stomach since he has blockage in the intestines it helps keep things moving. She also said he doesn't look as good today as yesterday....he was really resting despite and in good spirits.....he was being very cooperative, he hates hospitals and can get rather testy, but he was doing well.

I am off to the store with Sarah and then off to visit dad.

Now for a little whine from me...I am exhausted, I don't know what to think. I have idea how to process this. I feel I have no hope. Depression has set in and I don't know what to do to make it go away. Its not about me I know.....I am just numb.

I have been thinking of the Mark Shultz Song He will Carry Me.... Particularly "You never said it would be easy, but you said you'd see me through the storm". I need to hold on to my faith right now.

He Will Carry Me by Mark Shultz
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pWAREtXuQM&feature=related

I call, You hear me I've lost it all And it's more then I can bear I feel so empty
You're strong, I'm weary I'm holding on But I feel like giving in
But still You're with me

(Pre-chorus and Chorus)And even though I'm walking Through the valley of the shadow
I will hold tight to the hand of Him Whose love will comfort me
And when all hope is gone And I've been wounded in the battle
He is all the strength that I will ever need He will carry meI

know I'm broken But You alone Can mend this heart of mine You're always with me
And even though I'm walking Through the valley of the shadowI will hold tight to the hand of Him Whose love will comfort me
And when all hope is goneAnd I've been wounded in the battle He is all the strength that I will ever need
He will carry me He will carry me

And even though I feel so lonely Like I have never been before You never said it would be easy But You said You'd see me through the storm
And even though I'm walking Through the valley of the shadow I will hold tight to the hand of Him Whose love will comfort me And when all hope is gone And I've been wounded in the battle He is all the strength that I will ever need

He will carry me He will carry me He will carry me

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Miraculous Movement

Good news and TMI....dad had a bowel movement! This means that his intestines are not fully blocked and blood is flowing as it should be. My sister told me he is resting and looks good, just weak. He is still a little confused, but that is just his normal state these days. He keeps asking to go lay down in his bed.

To recap:
Hernia......not near as big as it was nor inflamed. But its still pretty big. No surgery will be performed, though it is needed. Trying to heal with nonsurgical means.

Ulcer....the bleeding is much less and he isn't getting sick, so no tube to pump stomach needed. This is the best news, as he kept pulling it out and it had to hurt being put back in. Plus who wants a tube sticking out of their nose that goes down to the stomach....makes me gag thinking about it!

Intestinal Blockage...things are moving!

I am about to head out to visit him a while, just thought I would share the good news.

Please keep praying, I am still very down about things......I may appear strong, but heck I am human and asking why is dad going through this, why did I have to give up my xmas vacation and all the fun things we had planned. Yeah I know, sounds selfish, but I thought I would confess. Both my sister and I are tired, this is so emotional for us.

On a positive note when Fr Fabio gave dad the last rites on Thursday , he told my sister to forgive dad of anything she was carrying around and to also ask if he needed her forgiveness and to let him know it was OK to go. That was some great advice as I did this also when I got back and you know it felt good. Maybe the life lesson here we shouldn't carry stuff around with us and wait until its too late to let it go..... if we are sorry for something we have done to our loved ones, why not just let them know.

Delta was great at getting us back, though I lost my phone, I think it fell out of my purse on the plane ....which is OK, it was old anyway and I need a new one. The hospital is fantastic, what a great staff. Kind of renews your hope in humans to see others taking such compassionate care of the sick AND attending to the families.

I talked to dad's old church and they will be praying for him. I also contacted the church that covers the hospital and dad is on the list of receiving communion when they go visit. That makes me happy as dad loves receiving Jesus!

I am so glad things are moving as he must feel SO much better! The tube has been out all day also, THANK YOU LORD! I am thinking yesterday I was too doom and gloom in my post.....maybe he will be going back to his community, though in a different area. I know he will NOT be happy about that, but we will cross that bridge later.

Please keep praying for us. My dad's name is Jack and he is NOT the best of patients and he hates hospitals....but so far he is doing OK considering. He is still restrained in the bed, but its for the best.

I will keep you updated.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dad Update 12.29.08

Spent all day at the hospital waiting to talk to the doctor. I never saw her which was very frustrating as its hard to know how things are going.

Dad looked better, though he looked very weak and he slept on and off all day. He was much more lucid today...he would talk a little and nod off. He still had the tube in his nose to his stomach which he was trying to take out before I left....he had taken it out in the morning.

My sister spoke with the doctor tonight......

He is doing better, there is much less liquid accumulating in his stomach. They are going to take him off the nose tube and if he doesn't vomit, it will stay out. The fluid coming out seemed less bloody, so the ulcer has perhaps healed a little anyway.

They blockage is still there. He hasn't had a bowel movement in many days.

His hernia looks better, but its still about the size of a grapefruit and bulges out above the groin area. It is not as inflamed as it was when he checked in. It needs surgery but due to dad's age, his health and his living will....he does not want to be put on a ventilator which would be required for recovery, its out of the question. The doctor thinks he would not make it through he surgery and that the hernia would come back quickly so no surgery for dad.

What does this mean? Well if he remains blocked in his intestines at some point the blood flowing down to the tissue will back up and create havoc for some other part of his body. He will be in the hospital for 2 weeks and then perhaps will get moved to the nursing unit where he was living before...which he was in assisted living. My personal assessment, is that he is slowly dying and the end is imminent...well we are all dying, but dad's time is very short.

It bothers me to see him laying in bed, but at least the tube to his stomach will come out. He doesn't seem to be in any pain. He really wants to walk and go to mass.....I guess I will take care of getting him communion. I am in tears thinking he may not be able to go for his walks. He is on a feeding tube and he keeps asking for something to drink.....all I can do is give him sips of water.

I am also very sad that when Andy goes back to work next week, I will have very limited time to go sit with dad and the thought of him being alone in the hospital at what is probably the end of his life really depresses me. I know I have my life to live, but I don't want dad to be depressed and lonely in the hospital.

Perhaps my assessment is too doom and gloom. Perhaps he will make it longer and will be able to use a walker. Perhaps he will go back to his retirement community...though he will most assuredly be moved to the skilled nursing unit. Perhaps he will come off the feeding tube and be able to eat again. I don't know.

I am emotionally spent, prayers please!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dad update

I spent a lot of time today with Dad at the hospital......most of the day and a couple hours this evening. Its not easy sitting with him, he looks so frail and is out of it. He keeps pulling the tube out of his nose which drains his stomach...he is blocked in his intestines so this tube is keeping things moving out. I am sure its NOT comfortable. He was trying to get out of bed tonight to leave and go home. He is so weak and confused, he can't lift the blanket off his body. Because he keeps trying to pull the tube out and "escape", they have him restrained in the bed...which I totally understand, but its so sad. He is also seeing things and people that well, I didn't see. Uncle Jim, if you were with us tonight, thanks for beign there for Dad....FYI Uncle Jim dad's brother died many years ago and dad asked Jim for help and told me he was there as he pointed to the corner. H was also trying to eat food that wasn't there -its all so hard.

The doctor this morning said he remarkedly looked better, but things were still grave and if he is still hanging in on Monday we need to start taking hospice.

I prayed to dad alot....we did the divine mercy chaplet, scriptural stations of the cross, rosary and I read a bunch of prayers. I also sang with him Salve Regina, which calmed him down and had him singing. One of the nurses actually stopped by the door to watch us sing. I asked him if he liked me reading to him and he said "no"..oh well......

I am so tired, its hard to witness this and then come home and take care of a 2 year old. OK I am off to eat a piece of carrot cake, got to have my veggies, and off to bed. I am looking forward to going to Mass tomorrow to see my faithful friends at church.

Thank you all for your encouragement and prayers, they are helping keep me sane. Pray for Andy who has extra Sarah duty and had a visit with his family cut short to deal with dad.

God, I know you have a purpose for everything, and your will be done, but please have mercy on my dad and get him out of that bed. If he can never walk outside again to enjoy your creation, please take him to your paradise. Its hard seeing him as an invalid, please give me strength and peace.

Home

So after a 3 hour delay due to a mechanical issue with the plane we are home.....I felt good we FINALLY got a new plane, but not so great about our arrival time in the ATL. Props to Delta who changed our return flight with NO fee, they did confirm with the hospital that dad was there though. They were also very nice about the delay, and we got free headsets and tons of snacks and the whole can to drink. Wahoo!

Its late and I know I need to go to bed, but the thought of me going to the hospital in the morning to see my dad on his "deathbed" is not so appealing. I am happy dad had last rites today which I am glad. My sister told me the priest told her to tell dad its ok to leave us, which we are both fine with as he is ready and we don't want to see him infirmed. He also told her to tell him she forgave him for anything she needed to and to ask for him to forgive her for anything he needed to...which you know is nice, I will do the same in the morning. I do feel as though I haven't been seeing dad enough, so I will tell him and ask him to please forgive me.

I saw dad on Monday, I went to the store for him. It was so cold, I just shopped for him and dropped the stuff off. When I was leaving he asked if I would take him for a ride, so I did, albeit a short one...which of course I now regret. When we said goodbye, sarah was with me, I told her to say goodbye to grandpa and she said "By Poppa"....which is the first time she has said poppa. She also gave him a hug and kiss which makes me feel good, it was a special moment. I will say, when I left him I was crying, he did seem kind of off to me....more spacy than normal.

The doctors don't know how long he will last but my sister told me today that one of the doctors said it was just a matter of days at this point.

Off to bed I go................... another long day tomorrow.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Coming home

I am headed home. They don't think my dad will leave the hospital alive but we don't know how long he has. I am hoping I can make it home in time...though its not that dire right now according to my sister.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Prayers Needed

My dad is in the hospital. He has not eaten for a couple days and told me yesterday over the phone he felt very "puny", and ill and tired. I am out visiting my in laws on the other side of the country. My sister left me a voice mail that they took dad to the hospital this morning as he looked horrible. I spoke with my brother in law and we are awaiting tests to be ran, there might be some kind of intestinal blockage. Dad is 82 and when I saw him on Monday he looked kind of out of it to me.

Please pray for my dad that if its his time, he goes peacefully. If he gets better I pray that he will be able to enjoy the rest of his life....he is in assisted living now, and can walk I just don't want him to become and invalid. Yet its not my will....what will happen will happen.

Please pray for my sister and her family who are alone dealing with this on Christmas. I feel helpless out here and I just wish I was with my sister right now as we are the only siblings left in my family and I hate that this is happening on Christmas as its one of her favorite days....she totally embodies the Christmas spirit.

OK, back to the family party I go.....only Andy knows what is going on.

What a Man Wednesday.....Its Christmas, so who else. could it be

As a Christian, today of all days, how can I not pick the man of the week as Jesus Christ. Son of God, son of Man, friend to all. Even if you are not a believer, this dude surrounded himself with those who others wanted nothing to do with. He cared about ALL mankind and women also. He loved us so much he died for us. Today I wish you all a Merry Christmas and give props to Jesus. Thanks for dying for us.

Dear Jesus, please remember all those who are reading this blog when you come again.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

44 Things I love about being Catholic...#8 Reconciliation


Its been a while since I have blogged a reason I love being Catholic, as it has been a while since I went to confession..... BLESS ME FATHER FOR I HAVE SINNED.......sounds funny doesn't it to ask for a blessing when saying you have turned against God.

One criticism we Catholics faces is "confession". I think its a misunderstood sacrament that gets a bad rap......like its OK to sin knowing you can confess and then go out and do it again...that is NOT really how it works. You can't confess something you aren't sorry about and that you plan on doing again....I mean what is there to forgive in that? And I have heard MANY times "I don't need someone to tell me God forgives me, I ask directly for forgiveness". Well we all have opinions, I love the GRACE I receive when I participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation....also known as Penance or Reconciliation.

The act itself involves the examination of conscience, so periodically - however often you go to confession,-you sit and think of what you have done to keep you from God. Without the sacrament, I honestly don't think I would do this. Sure I might commit a sin and ask God for forgiveness for that sin....but I don't think I would really reflect and try to think of the many things that turn me away from God. When you start to think, its scary how long the list easily comes. Especially the little things....which to me can be the scariest as unreconciled can get bigger and bigger. The examination of conscience really keeps things in check.

To physically sit in the presence of the priest who is God's agent and disciple and to say out loud the sins committed is hard.....think of how hard it will be to face God himself at the end of life. I think saying these things aloud really does help in the "boy I have screwed up" department as we are admitting our downfalls AND our desires to become closer to God. In the sacrament, you say what you have done to offend our heavenly Father, you ask forgiveness and pray with the priest. The priest is has the task of giving you your penance to try to compensate for the offense. He is not the one who forgives, its God who forgives, he just serves as God's agent.

I don't go to confession often enough - I went today for the first time in 3 or 4 months. Technically you only have to go once a year, but if you are in a state of sin, you should not receive holy communion at Mass. I think for the new year I am going to try and make it monthly. About a month ago, I thought of a few sins I had committed and how I should not be receiving communion....that's a whole other post..... So I decided to stop going to communion at mass until I had been to confession. I would go up for a blessing, but not to consume the Holy Eucharist. I don't know why I have such a hard time making it the confessional.....but I finally went today after mass.

The cool thing is....I will receive communion, the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, at the Christmas Vigil Mass next. Talk about symbolic, during the season of awaiting the coming of our Lord. I will receive him for the first time in a while at the very mass we celebrate his arrival. I have been restraining myself, because I realized how precious the holy Eucharist is and I also realized for so many years, with my habit of not going to confession, how I was not respecting Holy Eucharist by consuming in a state of sin. For me, denying myself communion really put into perspective how sin separates us from Christ. Even though I could get a blessing at mass, which I most gladly accepted, it made me think of how sin affected my relationship with God and his son.

I have never felt God's grace stronger in my life than after confession....especially the one where I had been away from the church for so many years. The best thing about reconciliation is that it totally wipes our sins away.....not just offers forgiveness, but through the holy spirit we are truly cleansed and the ugliness of our sin is gone.

OK, so if you have made it here......may the Peace of our Lord be with you, as we celebrate the coming of our Savior this week......think of how awesome it is 2000 years later, we can be cleansed the sacrament and made in a state worthy to receive his most precious body. Through reconciliation, its all wiped away and we are made a new.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas In Atlanta

Being one of the few natives, thought I would share what it has been like for me growing up in Atanta....

Riding the Pink Pig...the real one, the monorail over the roof of Rich's downtown.

Visiting the Santa at Sears in Buckhead...now the site of Nava, one of Andy and my favorite places to go out on a date.

Rich's Great Tree Downtown...we would drive down on Christmas Eve to look at it, and guess what....Santa always came while we were driving looking at the lights.

"What time is the Midnight mass"...this is the most popular question asked when you work at the Catholic Church of people calling in. Mom was secretary and I worked part time, our answer "the doors open at 10, the choir starts singing at 11,mass starts at midnight, get there early if you want a seat"...I have no idea what the answer is these days as its always been too crowded for me, we go to the vigil service around 4 or 4:30. It is still a family joke for us to say "what time is the midnight mass"...well DUH!

Egg Nog Ice Cream.

Driving around Buckhead looking at christmas lights.

Eating McDonalds on Christmas Eve...before riding downtown. I hated meat, so I just got fries. Mom never made dinner on xmas eve.

Listening to the radio station that had the satellite tracking Santa.

Mom save me from this freaky dude......

You know having your kid's picture taken with the fun loving mascot of your college sounds great, especially when one of her favorite books is about said mascot. Well apparently seeing him up close is NOT the same as in the book. Sarah was so scared of Buzz.....which the Georgia Bulldogs should have been this year.....GT 45-UGA 42. I printed out the photo and its hanging with some other holiday pics, and now when she sees the photo I get a big smile and she says "Buzz".....go figure.


CAPTION: This dude is NOTHING like my cute Buzz in the book - get me outa here!


Feel free to insert your own caption in my comments.


Merry Christmas.....
Go Jackets.

As we used to say back in the day, "Its Great, To Be, a Fuzzy Bee"........

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Must Be Santa......



Somebody has been a good girl this year!

Merry Christmas from our Family to Yours.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What a Man Wednesday......anyone BUT Tom Cruise

FYI, NOT a Tom Cruise fan and he has been all over promoting his film, ick he gets on my nerves. I am also VERY tired of Brangelina..... OK....speaking of Brad, our man of the week works very well with him. Nice classy salt and pepper kind of look. Very hip, especially playing Billy Ocean. I think he is kind of cocky, but in a subtle way if that makes ANY sense at all. Started out on another E/R show, a comedy, moved p to Jo's boytoy on The Facts of Life. Didn't we all fall in love with his playboy Dr Ross on ER....wasn't it great he ended up with Nurse Hathaway. I bet he is quite the charmer. I liked him as Batman the least in the films - Christian Bale is my fav, though I think the script for George was NOT good. He certainly does wear a tux well. How can you not like a man with his own villa on Lake Cuomo

Isn't it funny how I pick em, start on a train of thought how sick I am of you know who and end up with our man......

I give you George Clooney......

In the spirit ofthe holidays, I added George as a part of our Elf family. He can be seen as a part in this link....might take a minute to load, but its pretty funny.




Sunday, December 14, 2008

Happy Gaudette Sunday, Rejoice!

Today is the 3rd Sunday of Advent...and the vestments at church are Pink or Rose. Today we start focusing on rejoicing that the Lord is coming and in living a life of joy. I found the info below about the advent wreath and thought I would share. I actually bought some advent candles this year, but seemed to have misplaced them....so I am just enjoying the one at church.

From Saunders, Rev. William. “The History of the Advent Wreath.” Arlington Catholic Herald.

The symbolism of the Advent wreath is beautiful. The wreath is made of various evergreens, signifying continuous life. Even these evergreens have a traditional meaning which can be adapted to our faith: The laurel signifies victory over persecution and suffering; pine, holly, and yew, immortality; and cedar, strength and healing. Holly also has a special Christian symbolism: The prickly leaves remind us of the crown of thorns, and one English legend tells of how the cross was made of holly. The circle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, and the everlasting life found in Christ. Any pine cones, nuts, or seedpods used to decorate the wreath also symbolize life and resurrection. All together, the wreath of evergreens depicts the immortality of our soul and the new, everlasting life promised to us through Christ, the eternal Word of the Father, who entered our world becoming true man and who was victorious over sin and death through His own passion, death, and resurrection.

The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. A tradition is that each week represents one thousand years, to sum to the 4,000 years from Adam and Eve until the Birth of the Savior. Three candles are purple and one is rose. The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of His second coming to judge the living and the dead.

The light again signifies Christ, the Light of the world. Some modern day adaptions include a white candle placed in the middle of the wreath, which represents Christ and is lit on Christmas Eve. Another tradition is to replace the three purple and one rose candles with four white candles, which will be lit throughout Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What a Man Wednesday....Fresh and Mr July

Our man of the week hails from the city of brotherly love, ummm a Pat's or Geno's cheese steak would be yummy about now. A Grammy winner and very successful actor - he is truly a "star" and has that aura. Talk about a million dollar smile! Often playing a cop or some kind of agent, his first acting role was in an Afterschool Special. Love seeing him with the family. Read his biggest regret acting career wise was turning down the role of Neo in The Matrix.... that would have been a great role for him. Whether summertime or getting jiggy, no denying he is one hot dude ANYTIME.

I give you Will Smith...........



Sunday, December 7, 2008

Me N Troy

Do I have issues I made this at my age? I would have been a cute cheerleader.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What a man wednesday....Officer Tom Hanson and Barnabas Collins

Remember the 80's and 21 Jump Street...with Officer Tom Hanson who looked like he could be in High School and was oh so dreamy. Our Man of the week's debut was actually in the classic "A Nightmare on Elm Street". I think my personal favorites of his were Donny Brasco and Blow. Of course Captain Jack is alot of fun and he was totally dreamy in Chocolat. Personally I think one of the most beautiful faces around...he looks great pretty much any way you see him....long hair, short hair, glasses, facial hair, clean shaven....he always looks fantastic. His next project is in the role of Barnabas Collins in his bud Tim Burton's adaptation of Dark Shadows....that show used to scare me on TV. Seems pretty humble when he is interviewed.
To my sister Jill, this one is for you!
I give you the talented and beautiful Johnny Depp.



Monday, December 1, 2008

Obama Called.....I hung up on him

So here I am in Georgia where we have that hotly contested runoff between Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin. I have been getting 3 calls a day from people the past week reminding me to vote tomorrow........I am feeling harassed. I think both sides of this race have done a horrible job of campaigning and I am sick of the mud slinging and misrepresentation in both sides of the ads......I seriously think they have the same ads going.

I did laugh out loud when the recording said "This is Barack Obama. I know you have been getting a lot of calls about tomorrow's election...." which is when I hung up on him. President Reagan's son Micheal called today as well as did the Governor Sonny Perdue...who woke Sarah up from her nap.....as if I am not irritated enough by Sonny for not allowing me to purchase wine or beer in the grocery store on Sundays.

OK, I feel better now. I am so glad that after tomorrow, the phone will again be silent. Of course I will probably blog about how my phone never rings....... but maybe Obama will have more to ask of me down the road.

Friday, November 28, 2008

You are of value......

I subscribe to silentinsight.com which is a VERY short daily meditation for Catholics sent via email, but really you don't have to be Catholic to get something from it. Many days I have skipped over it...which it just silly, everyone needs a little me time, and its amazing how few words can touch your inner being and inspire or lift you up.

Today's was awesome, so I am sharing it with my blog followers who are all magnificent.....

We are made in the image and likeness of God. Our soul magnifies the magnificence of God. We are God’s work of art. Accept yourself, none of us as humans are perfect. We are of value.

Consider the story of the $100 bill -
As a brand new $100 bill, it is worth $100.
As a crumpled old $100 bill, it is still worth $100.

Your value is never diminished, no matter if you have sinned or if people have hurt your feelings.

Be Still Read Chew On It Listen Dialogue Close With Praise and Thanks

I needed to hear that today!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

So Thankful.....

Its been a good day in our household despite the Hand Foot and Mouth disease Sarah picked up which was diagnosed yesterday. Its really just a virus, but is contagious so we stayed home instead of going to my sister's as planned. I didn't want to expose my dad who is 82 and in assisted living as our pediatrician told us to keep her secluded the next few days.

I am proud of myself as I threw together quite the nice little feast in less than 24 hours notice. We had Turkey - I actually had a butterball turkey roast in my freezer so just used that and boy was it good, mashed potatoes, stuffing...yeah I cheated it was just stove top which is easy, green beans - the frozen ones you steam in microwave...this would be the healthy portion of our meal, Sister Schubert's rolls....umm umm, and a pumpkin souffle....actually the recipe was for sweet potato but I just substituted the pumpkin as I had a can in the pantry, it was QUITE good also. I purchased 2 pieces of frozen pecan pie and some ice cream which we will have for dessert. I know pecan pie is HORRID when it comes to nutrition, but I figured 2 pieces were better than buying a whole pie. Sarah loved the mashed potatoes and pumpkin.

I have been thinking of what I am thankful of and here is my list........

* My health....my CAT scan came back great, no sign of heart disease. So to stay healthy its up to me in my diet and exercise which I am working on, well not so much the diet today.

* My husband...I have a good one. He is kind, loving and supportive of me. He is loyal and a great provider for our family.

* Andy's job......I am blessed I can stay home with Sarah and am grateful Andy has a job he likes that seems to be stable. I am also thankful should something happen, he has got GREAT development skills so even if he loses his job in this economy which in unlikely right this second, but you never know, he should be able to find something...even contract.

* My friends.....I have been blessed through the years with great friends. Wonderful people just keep coming my way.

* My faith......I am blessed I can worship as I want in this great country of ours. I thank my family for how I was raised, I thank my teachers at 12 years of parochial school for contributing to my faith and knowledge, I thank the many wonderful priests who have been wonderful Shepards for me....... most esp Fr Kenny RIP.

* My family in heaven....I am trying not to focus on what I don't have lately and have realized the people I have known and loved that have left this life have truly been a blessing to me. I miss my Mom, sister Mary Beth and Jack my brother, but boy were they a great family to be around when they were here......and of course my sweet Caleb, in the 8 days he was on earth I learned more about myself and my family with Andy than I have in many years.

* The fact I bought size 10 jeans last week....sure this is superficial...but a year ago I bought a size larger and they were TIGHT as the10s are now. The new 10s look good, but there is a little muffin thing going on, so I have to wear the right tops to hide that....BUT Andy said they look great. I know with a little work, they could be baggy and that is my goal.

So that is all I can think of.....

Happy Thanksgiving! May your families be blessed this holiday season.....may we all focus on the real meaning of Christmas and not get bummed with all the commercialism.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What a man Wednesday......yes, another Brit!







You know, I have been told by many I have beautiful eyes. According to the JJ man of the week and I quote.... "The sexiest part of the body is the eyes. Corny, but that's what I believe. They're what connect us as human beings." Well, let me tell you , this is one sexy guy...... A little trivia, I am exactly one week older than him. LOVED him in the films Inside Man and Children of Men.






I give you Clive Owen....






Saturday, November 22, 2008

True confession

Yesterday I went WAY over on my calories and I did not exercise....nor did I exercise today, but the calories went well. Ok, I feel better.

Its official....I LOVE hospitals

I had a Coronary CAT Scan yesterday. At my physical, my doctor told me while not covered by insurance, he thought with my family history and my age it would probably be a good idea to check and see if I have any signs of blockages.

Background.....Mom died of heart attack at the age of 54, brother died of heart attack at the age of 52. Both smoked and my mother had high blood pressure. I quit smoking 10 years ago, and all my vitals were good at the physical but to be safe I decided to pay the money and do the test.

I had to go to the hospital....and was actually looking forward to the test. I had it at Piedmont - I have a lot of history with this place so I always like going there anyway as the people who wore there are so nice. I checked in and was taken back to imaging pretty quickly. I undressed from the waste up and put on a hospital gown - which you know I don't mind wearing. When I layed on the table they put a warmed sheet on top of me.....see this is one of the things I LOVE about the hospital, heated sheets. When would someone do that for you at home...... ummmmmmm NEVER. Anyhoo, they raised me up and slid me under the imaging device to get a good look at my heart and the arteries around it. They are looking for any calcium buildup or blockages.

My doctor will call me next week with the results....which will indicate if I am at risk for heart disease, ie if there are any early signs it has started. When that big old CAT Scan device started whirring away, I was SO relaxed and fascinated with the whole thing. I could get a report back I am ok, and everything looks great, I could get a report that there are some signs that things are looking not so great. He could tell me to take a low dosage aspirin daily, put me on some kind of medication, refer me to a cardiologist, or do nothing. Whatever the outcome I am glad I did it as I have to take care of Sarah and am hoping I will be around to see her graduate.

On my drive home I realized I LOVE going to the doctor and hospitals. I don't mind tests, or being poked prodded or stuck. I don't mind the gown. I love the attention and being taken care of. I have had experience with hospitals in my family.....and when I was pregnant with both Caleb and Sarah had hospital stays. After I delivered Sarah, I didn't want to leave....the nurses were so nice and helpful and I didn't need to worry about anything. I had many prenatal visits to the OB and Perinatolgist when I was pregnant with Sarah and LOVED going to the office, I looked forward to it. I have had the same dentist since I was 8 and you know I like going to see him also. Maybe its just I get a few minutes to just sit back and let someone take care of me in some capacity. And though I don't see my general practitioner often, he is the best...what a nice doctor!

Now with my realization of my affection for hospitals and healthcare do I WANT to end up in a hospital.....of course not. I thank God for my health as much as I remember, but I have to say, I certainly don't mind going at all. I am hoping my test shows that I am good and don't need to do anything other than eat healthy and exercise, which I am working on daily.

May God Bless all the health care workers in this country. I have been so blessed to have had some excellent care, so I ask a special blessing for those who have so wonderfully treated my family and me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Boulder Stream


I was challenged on a message board I frequent to post a picture of the 6th pic in the 6th folder of pictures on my computer and describe it.
The year, 2002 in July, Andy and I went to Colorado for vacation. We were driving around in Boulder when we came across a pretty stream and a some rocks with people rockclimbing so we stopped to get out and look.
The water was incredibly clear.....so hear you have boulders in Boulder. :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Umm Umm Crockpot Italian Chicken

Its cold here in my neck of the woods and I have been craving something hearty and comfort food-ish....... which won't be too bad on my diet. My cuz Lyn gave me this recipe which she found on Spark People.....MAN it is GOOD!!!!! I served it with some brown rice and broccoli and we had a salad with lettuce, cucumbers, bell peppers, grilled asparagus, a little Feta and my FAVORITE dressing Trader Joes Goddess. What a DELISH dinner....next time, i will serve over the yolkless noodles or some whole wheat pasta. Might add mushrooms to the sauce also. I cooked it on high and it was fine....I used a little more water than suggested also.

So here it is.....Slow Cooker Italian Chicken....EASY to made, yummy to eat.

Just to clarify for the questions below:
First, YES the cream cheese is figured into the totals...if you use FULL FAT cream cheese, the fat content will be considerably higher. But low fat cream cheese really takes the fat down.Second, I haven't ever tried it with regular Italian dressing...let me know how it turns out!Third, I HIGHLY recommend using the low setting for cooking...it allows the juices from the chicken to really seep into the dressing.

Ingredients
*1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
*1 pkg Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 8oz pkg low fat cream cheese
*1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup*3 cups cooked white, long grain rice

Directions
*1. Place chicken in crock pot
*2. Mix together Italian dressing mix and water. Pour over chicken.
*3. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours OR low for 8 hours.
*4. Mix together cream cheese and soup in separate bowl.
*5. Carefully remove chicken from crock pot to plate.
*6. Pour cream cheese/soup mixture into crock pot and mix together with dressing in bottom.
*7. Return chicken to crock pot and mix gently to shred the chicken.
*8. Cook on LOW until heated through.*Serve with rice or noodles.

**You may add skim or low fat milk in very small quantities to thin the sauce a little. It does not significantly affect the nutritional value if you use up to 2 tablespoons
**Makes 6 servings. Approximately 2/3 cup mixture with 1/2 cup rice.This recipe can be made with FAT FREE cream cheese and it saves about 6 grams of fat. However, I feel that the dish benefits from the flavor of the low fat over the fat free.

Number of Servings: 6

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 327.2
Total Fat: 9.9 g
Cholesterol: 93.6 mg
Sodium: 712.8 mg
Total Carbs: 24.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.9 g
Protein: 32.9 g

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What a man Wednesday.......Amish Farmer, Russian Maffia and Protector of Middle Earth



Our man of the week started his film career as a young Amish farmer in Witness....... An accomplished horseman, he purchased the horses he rode in Hildago and Lord of The Rings after the films were completed. Along with being a fine actor, he is a painter - you can see his work in the film A Perfect Murder, photographer - has shown his work in NYC , jazz musician -3 CDs and writes poetry in his spare time. What can't this dude do? I caught a glimpse of him the other night while channel surfing in the film Eastern Promises...which was on too late for me to watch....and thought...."Wow he is one beautiful man, he is the next JJ Man of the Week".... I will admit, I don't love Lord of the Rings, as a matter of fact I went with my darling husband and each one thought...when is this going to end. Not that it was BAD, just not my thing and those were some long movies. I much prefer a cleancut guy anyway to the long haired ranger dude in LOTR. Anyhoo....





I give you......







Monday, November 17, 2008

44 Things I Love About Being Catholic...#7 Incense

Again the numbers have no significance as far as what i love the most...

I love the burning of Incense to symbolize our prayers going up to heaven.....though when pregnant, it kind of made me sick to be honest. I love all the pomp and ritual the priest goes about swinging the censer around. A priest a my church once commented that his seminary prided themselves on how they could cloud up the congregation with incense. I say the more dramatic the swing, the better.

On Mondays I pray in my church's adoration chapel for an hour each morning, and the past 2 weeks I noticed the unmistakable scent of the incense. No nothing divine or miraculous there were funerals in the church and incense is used as a part of the funeral rite. When I had that whiff last week, I was still pretty deep in my grief for Fr Kenny and that aroma reminded me to pray for the repose of his soul and for his family, friends and the staff at the Cathedral...to be eased in their (and my) grief. Then I was reminded of the image of my prayers, sweet requests rising to heaven......like the aromatic smoke from the incense rising from the censer. The Holy Spirit in me, burning in my heart as the incense was....

Yes, I know in my youth I would do the dramatic holding of the nose with the PU face to my mom as it can be quite strong, but I suppose I have grown to appreciate this beautiful gesture. Actually Roman Catholics aren't the only ones who use incense, but I like it when we do.

I learned tonight in the Book of Revelation incense symbolises the prayers of the saints in heaven - the "golden bowl full of incense" are "the prayers of the saints" (Revelation 5:8 cf. Revelation 8:3) which infuse upwards towards the altar of God.

To the saints.......All you Holy Men and Women Pray for Us!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Mystery Shell

Yesterday I went to the cemetary for a little visit. On Caleb's marker, someone had put a shell. It was a pretty half shell. I wonder where it came from.... perhaps someone who is a family friend thinking of Caleb, or someone who happened to be moved to see such a small child buried, or perhaps one of the workers put it there after finding it thinking it was a good place.

Regardless, it was nice seeing someone had put it next to Caleb's name. I checked back in the photo I took of the marker at the All Souls Day mass and that shell was nowhere so its definitely a recent addition, and a welcome site. We were given a shell at Caleb's baptism.

I decided to look up the significance of the shell as a faith symbol.......

Scallop shell: the sea shell, especially the scallop shell, is the symbol of Baptism, and is found frequently on Baptismal fonts. The dish used by priests to pour water over the heads of catechumens in Baptism is often scallop-shaped

It has been used for centuries in the Catholic tradition as a symbol for pilgrims. Pope Benedict XVI has a scallop shell at the point of honor on his coat of arms.

The shell has several symbolic meanings. First it refers to a famous legend about St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (354-430 AD). Once as he was walking along the seashore, meditating about the unfathomable mystery of the Holy Trinity, he met a boy who was using a shell to pour seawater into a little hole. When Augustine asked him what he was doing, he received the reply, “I am emptying the sea into this hole.” Thus the shell is a symbol for plunging into the unfathomable sea of the Godhead. It also has a connection, though, with the theologian Joseph Ratzinger and the beginning of his academic career. In 1953 he received a doctorate in theology under Professor Gottlieb Söhngen at the University of Munich by completing a dissertation on “The People of God and the House of God in Augustine’s Teaching about the Church."

Furthermore, the shell also stands for “Jacob’s staff,” a pilgrim’s staff topped with a scallop shell, which in Church art was the symbol of the apostle James (in Latin, Jacobus). In this sense, the symbol alludes to a central concept of the Second Vatican Council, the “pilgrim people of God,” which the theologian shepherded locally as Archbishop Ratzinger and of which he is now, as Benedict XVI, the universal shepherd.

SO even though Caleb is gone from this life, it was nice to see that symbol of his birth into the Catholic faith in his baptism. Its a nice reminder of the wonderful life he now is experiencing while we schlep along down here.

Caleb, pray for us! We want to be with you again someday.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Diet/Fitness....Yep, here we go again.

I realized lately I have been in a funk and trying to make things better with bad food....fries, cookies, etc. My clothes are not as loose as they used to be either. I can't tell you the last time I exercised. I have seen a few recent pics and lets just say I am not happy with how things are looking lately.

SO here I go again. I am going to start getting up before Sarah Cate and getting my exercise in. This will also make me tired to go to bed at a decent hour, I have been staying up way too late.

I logged into SparkPeople and will use this online tool to help me keep up with my new fitness goals and keep track of my diet a little better.

I feel like a broken record, I know what to do, but for some reason have a very hard time with follow through. This is a tough time of year so its a great time to focus on health I think.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What a Man Wednesday......Cowboy and a Jarhead

Sometimes I wonder if the fact a 40 something woman can look at a 20 something man and think....wow he is hot.....is a little wrong. But alas, I have to give props to one hot 20 something.. Granted, the JJ man of the week is in his upper 20's and I think he is a great actor - so its not JUST about good looks. He is totally adorable, another blue eyed brunette beauty. What an incredibly nice face - you just want to cuddle up with this guy. In my younger days, I think with his looks and demeanor, he would have been on my top 5 list and I would have had a mad crush on him. Note, I don not really like facial hair, so I prefer the clean shaven version. A former lifeguard, looks great wet



I give you Jake Gyllenhaal.








Monday, November 10, 2008

2006.....2007.....2008.... A Day in The Life

Things sure do change quickly and time has flown by!


2006



Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday Sarah Cate


Dear Sarah Cate,

Thank you for 2 of the best years of my life. Thanks for giving me all your smiles and hugs, especially when I start to wonder if I made the right decision staying at home with you. Thanks for giggling and running and laughing. I love being with you all day and hanging out with you. I love reading you George and your favorite Little Golden Books...The Counting One and the One About God. Its so cute how you LOVE wearing hats and your hoodie with the hood up.

I never imagined how fast time would go by. It seems like just yesterday that you were born. This past year you started walking, running, mastered steps and jumping. You learned the joys of The Wheels on the Bus and Ring Around the Rosie. You became fearless at the playground. Your contentment at just pushing something around the house or yard - your little lawnmower, your wagon and now your doll stroller - makes me smile. I love hearing you talking to yourself when you are looking at your books.

Your birthday was a beautiful day....one of the prettiest we have had in a while. The sky was clear as can be and the fall leaves were gorgeous. I am glad we got to spend a little time at the Duck Pond where your mom used to play when she was a girl.

I love you more than I can express.

Mommy

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Boy Named Joe.............

**** kleenex alert *****

I recently joined facebook which is a great way to reconnect with people you haven't seen for many years. I joined at the suggestion of one my AGD sorority sisters and sure enough I started reconnecting with other Ga Tech AGDs.

One of my friends and sisters is named Sharon. Sharon was one smart cookie at Ga Tech,....she really blew me away academically, well most people did at Ga Tech to be honest - I am just proud I graduated. I noticed on her picture she looked GREAT pretty much the same as in college, which was back in the 80s so its been a while. She commented that her kids were keeping her young.

I noticed in her profile she posted a website on youtube, so I decided to watch it. Its a beautiful video about her son Joe entitled "My Disabled Son Joe - Tetrasomy 8p + Mosaic Down Syndrome - Part 1 - Medical/Life". What touched me the most is that this boy was not supposed to make it and asked twice if she wanted to terminate her pregnancy and she said No. I know from my sister Mary Beth, that any child that is not "normal" can bring so many blessings to a family.

I thought I would share Joe's story with you. I can only imagine how its been being Joe's mom, with his diagnosis and constant medical care. I am sure its been an emotional roller coaster at times, but I know from my family what a blessing it is to have the perspective of someone who is not "normal".

Sharon, thanks for your leap of faith and for sharing your journey and your lovely family.

To see Joe's story, click here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

44 Things I love about being Catholic.... #6 a simple prayer

I love The Sign of The Cross......where you say, "In the name of the Father"...as you touch your forehead, "the Son" as you touch your sternum and the "and the Holy Spirit" as you touch each shoulder. Follow with a big AMEN.

This is a visual and verbal prayer acknowledging the God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit...the Trinity using the visual of the cross which Jesus died for us on.

The sign of the cross is probably one of the most used sacramentals of the church. Probably most familiar, its used to start and end prayers and when blessing one's self with Holy Water. When I was in grade school we were instructed to make this sign when we heard a siren....as a blessing for those in the car/truck/ambulance and for those they were going to help - I still do it sometimes, probably need to do it more! Sometimes when I am trying to think of a prayer, I will just sign myself - as the simplest of prayers.

I came across an optional prayer to pray after signing yourself, said to be favored by St. Benedict which I think I might give a whirl:
By the Sign of the Cross, deliver me from my enemies, O Lord.

I must admit there are times when I lack boldness in my faith when it comes to signing myself in public. NOW, I don't think there needs to be this big dramatic motion for it to be an effective prayer, simple is always good....but I guess sometimes we don't want to stick out as "one of those people" and it takes courage to do a simple sign of the cross.

I came across this from Saint Cyril a Bishop of Jerusalem which I am now reflecting on and thinking, I need to be bold to honor my God:

Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers on our brow and in everything; over the bread we eat, and the cups we drink; in our comings in, and goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake; when we are in the way and when we are still. Great is that preservative; it is without price, for the poor's sake; without toil, for the sick, since also its grace is from God. It is the Sign of the faithful, and the dread of evils; for He has triumphed over them in it, having made a shew of them openly; for when they see the Cross, they are reminded of the Crucified; they are afraid of Him, Who hath bruised the heads of the dragon. Despise not the Seal, because of the freeness of the Gift; but for this rather honor thy Benefactor." -- St. Cyril of Jerusalem, A.D. 315 - 386

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What a man wednesday...in memoriam


I know normally Wednesday is my fun day on JJ, but as I get ready to go say goodbye to the body of my dear friend Monsignor Thomas Kenny, I wanted to honor him one last time - please indulge me.

Rest in peace Fr Kenny, you will be missed here. Thanks for everything you did for me and my family and many many families and priests in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. You told our family many times of the joyous homecoming when we depart this life, I am sure there is one fabulous celebration for your arrival into Heaven.

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Him or Lord, and Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Him

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

JJ Election Poll Results are in.....


Its Palpatine Vadar by a landslide!

OK, just kidding, its a close one. So far McCain is ahead just barely....too close to call until tomorrow AM.

I will be so happy when this circus of an election is done. Its time for change. Whomever wins, I will be praying for your leadership of this great country.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hope Does Not Disappoint


I attended a special Mass today celebrating the Commemoration of All Souls...which was technically celebrated yesterday on the church's liturgical calendar, but this was a very special mass. Every year the past 25 years, a mass has been celebrated at the cemetery where my loved ones are buried. They are in the catholic section which is a hill. On top of the hill is a Cross and an altar where Archbishop Wilton Gregory con celebrated the All Souls mass with retired Archbishop Donoghue and many priests.

Today was a GORGEOUS day. Dry clear fall air. Barely chilly, but enough to remind it was fall and GLORIOUS. The service was in a word, phenomenal....yes, it was JUST another Catholic Mass, but it was very special. This mass was celebrated for the intention of the repose of the souls of all the deceased priests, deacons and lay people of the archdiocese.....we said the mass to remember and honor the departed AND to help pray all these people to heaven.

First of all when I see the gathering of the brethren of many priests, I am moved beyond belief. I grew up as the daughter of the church secretary, so I got to know many wonderful holy men as friends of our family and witness the outpouring of God's love through these shepards. The life of a parish priest is very tough...they deal with many family situations along with financial and business issues with the parish. They give up the opportunity to have their own family as the parish becomes their family. Their job is not just 9 to 5. The altar at the cemetery is actually surrounded by the graves of many of the deceased priests our family welcomed in our home for dinners and counseled our family through sad and hard times. Brought back many memories of my mom working along side these men, playing bridge and having them over for dinner. I also remembered how in first grade when the priest walked in our classroom we all stood up and said "Good.....insert Morning or Afternoon....Father" in unison. Our family grew up with priests as friends and it was an honor to pray for them today.
Down the hill from where we celebrated mass, I visited with my deceased family members after the mass was done including..... Caleb my sweet baby boy,
Mom, Mary Beth my beautiful sister and Jackie my big brother. I know they are not here breathing or walking, but it was kind of cool to know that I went to mass with them today....not just in spirit, but just up the hill from where their bodies rest in peace. I put some little pumpkins on Jack and Caleb's markers and some new flowers on Jack and Mary Beth. I prayed for them during mass also, along with so many people in Atlanta who have passed on to the next life.

There was a group of nuns from the Mother Theresa order in their white and blue gowns in attendance also. The most beautiful site I think I have seen in a while was them walking the grounds after the mass, reading the names of the departed on grave markers while praying the rosary aloud. Surrounded by the blue blue sky and colorful fall leaves on the trees it was heartwarming to see these sisters praying for the souls of those whom they did not know. I followed along for about a decade of the rosary with them - that's 10 hail Marys, feeling very humbled at the sacrifice and service these women have made.

After that I went over to the Babyland section of the cemetery. This is the section many choose to bury babies after losing and infant or pregnancy. I know many moms whose children are buried there. Its a very peaceful place with a memorial brick walk - from where I saw the brick at the top of this post "God Shall Wipe Away All Tears from Their Eyes". There are 2 pretty angel statues in this section, I really like this little angel, and not much is known about her I have heard.



Archbishop Gregory reminded us today as in the second reading from Paul's letter to the Romans 5:5-11, that our Hope in the Lord indeed does not disappoint. We all have a heaven just waiting for us, and while we are sad in our grief in the loss of our friends and loved one, there is eternal joy and peace just waiting for us.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Eternal Rest grant unto him, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him

This past week, the pastor at my old church Christ the King Monsignor Thomas Kenny passed away unexpectedly at the age of 69 in his sleep. He was the pastor at CTK for almost 20 years. He first came to Atlanta from Ireland in 1965 when he was ordained as a priest. My mom worked as the church secretary and Fr Kenny became a life long friend and support for our family - I was only 1 when we first met. Everyone in my family loved him, especially my grandmother, she really lit up when we went to mass or saw Fr Kenny as we called him at his request.

He had this way of making you feel like you were the most important and welcome person at church....he made everyone feel that way. He always had a smile and a warm greeting. He had a wonderful memory also, he knew and remembered everyone. He was there for my family in our family losses and hard times.......and in good times in weddings, birthdays, baptisms and family parties.

I am so grief stricken - it has me surprised quite frankly at the depth of my sadness in his passing. I know he wasn't a part of my daily life since I no long go to CTK, but I knew he was there. I loved sending him a Christmas card and was so happy that he sent me a lovely note in return. I feel as though he was my last connection with the church I grew up at. I was baptized at Christ the King, went to grade school and received all my sacraments there. My parents were married there as was I by Monsignor Kenny. My wedding day was WONDERFUL and the fact that Monsignor Kenny celebrated the service and married Andy and I made it so special, it was a very personal wedding. Andy proposed to me in California and after I called my father the next morning to let him know I was engaged, the next person I called was Fr Kenny to get him to give me a date off his calendar. My dad is now living in an assisted living facility and does not go to Christ the King. After I married we moved out of the parish and I started going to St Andrew, which I do love, but you know I spent most of my life at CTK.....and Fr Kenny was a big part of the many ministries and roles I served. He made you want to help the parish out and to be be a better place....and he was so grateful.

Its hard for me to grasp that I will never see him again. I have been meaning to go to mass at CTK with Sarah so I could show her how big she has gotten. Thankfully, last year I was in a bible study at Christ the King and ran into him so he got to see Sarah Cate. I am really sad, and while its understandable I had no idea his passing would hit me this hard. Its yet ANOTHER reminder not to take anything or anyone for granted and that EACH DAY IS PRECIOUS.

There is joy in knowing he is off this crazy planet and out of this mixed up world. I am sure he went straight to Heaven as he was truly a saint on earth. How wonderful that he is with our Lord, Jesus, the Blessed Mother Mary, all the saints......and those whom he helped Shepard. I need to focus on that and to remember that I can be with him again....its up to me.

God Bless You and Keep you Fr Kenny. Thank you Lord for giving us such a dear man, a true example for us all of sharing Your love with others.

Eternal Rest Grant unto Him O Lord, and Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Him.

Fr Kenny at my wedding July 2003....... helping lead me from my dad to my soon to be husband, and leading us through our vows with a huge smile all the time.




Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Re-Cap


It was a beautiful day, despite my melancholy mood - a dear family friend, the priest that married Andy and I, Monsignor Kenny passed away 2 nights ago. Despite my sadness, I truly appreciated how gorgeous it was today. Clear and nice! Sarah Cate and I enjoyed spending time with Grandpa taking him to Publix. We played outside for a long time, had lunch, went back outside, had a nap and then got ready for the big night.
We re-cycled our Piglet costume from last year. It was a little short, but who noticed! All we did last year was hand out candy and being a cool night it was perfect to keep Sarah Cate warm.
Our neighbors down the street always have a get together before trick or treating and Sarah Cate was scared upon arrival of a big banana. Poor Trip felt horrible that he scared Sarah.... I mean he wasn't anything gory, just a big banana, go figure. I especially liked the Hanna Montana whose dad was Billy Ray Cyrus, nice mullet and good family theme!
The party was fun but the big event was trick or treating for the first time at dark. Elvis, aka Georgia stayed with us the whole time...what a sweetie! Sarah was in heaven - she loved being with Georgia and getting candy was da bomb. I am proud she was so polite only taking one piece of candy. She loved putting candy in her pumpkin which was full by the time we got home. I enclosed some pics below.
With Grandpa at Publix early in the day:



Trying out which Pumpkin will best hold my candy - the plush one won:



Our neighbor Georgia aka Elvis.note the skinny one, Fat Elvis, Owen, was as the party also. Love the pumpkin man.


This Tuu-tuu skirt gives my costume a lil sumpin sumpin.......

With DAd, Grace the Go-go girl and Georgia Elvis..these girls are SC's biggest fans in the hood!



Our family....man, Sarah Cate looks like Andy!


One Happy Trick or Treater!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What a Man Wednesday.....Shaken not stirred

I have long been a fan of James Bond films. I know, full of violence, sex and skimpily clad women. But, James Bond is working to keep the world safe from the bad guys and he is dealing with the losses of the women he truly loved. He is complex and out to keep us safe.

The JJ - Just Julie, Man of the Week is the new James Bond. Let me tell you that last film Casino Royale was AWESOME and I can't wait to see the new one Quantum of Solace, due in theaters . I will go see it in the theater if I have to go alone!

An interesting face this actor is familiar as he has been in many non-bond excellent films... such as Road to Perdition, Layer Cake, and Munich. Another blue eyed beauty with rugged good looks. Oh, and he looked awesome in the bathing suit in Casino Royale....and looks good in any other suit!

I give you our man of the week..... Daniel Craig