She’s mine in the morning

February 4, 2010


Ella is a “daddy’s girl.” She loves her daddy. I mean it, she L-O-V-E-S her daddy.

When will Daddy be home from work?

Will you sit with me on the couch and hold me Daddy?

Claire, you ride with Mommy, I want to ride with Daddy?

Daddy, sit next to me during dinner!

Daddy’s home, Daddy’s home, hey Claire, Daddy’s home! (imagine loud shrill voice!)

Get the picture?

Day and night, she’s her daddy’s girl. Except, except for a brief time each morning.

Ella is our morning bird. Ever since I can remember she’s gotten up well before sunrise and consequently, so have I. Occasionally I bemoan the fact that Ella’s body clock has yet to reset itself so she’ll wake a little later each day. But, the truth is, I really wouldn’t change it now. Because, in those last moments of darknes before the dawn, Ella is mine.

Each morning as I sit in my chair next to the fire-place, sip my coffee and read the daily Mass scripture readings, I also wait.

I wait for the moment when Ella slips from under her covers, wanders into the living room and crawls onto my lap. It’s a ritual. It’s our ritual. And I love it. In those quiet moments she’s still my baby girl. I hold her, tell her how much she is loved and quietly pray for her in my heart. In those early hours of the morning she’s mine, and I treasure every minute of it.

I know Ella will probably always be a daddy’s girl. And that’s ok.

I a;so know one day soon, Ella is going to start sleeping in.

But, until then…

She’s all mine in the morning and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

Cinnamon Rolls and Mean Mom Unity

November 15, 2008

Scene: Claire, Ella and I, standing in line to get bagels at our favorite bagel place.

Claire: Mom, can we please get one of those cinnamon rolls, pleeaassssse?

Me: No, Claire. Not today.

Ella: Come on Mom, we’ll share it.  Pllllllleeeeeeeezzzzz.

Me: I said no, Ella.

Claire: Yeah mom, we’ll share it. Pleeeaaasssee.

Me: I said not today, Claire

Claire: But why not?

Me: Why do you think?

Claire: Because it’s not a healthy breakfast. (insert pouty look here)

Me: And?…

Claire: We had ice cream and cake twice yesterday at two different birthday parties.

Me: Yep, that’s about all the sugar you need this week.

Claire: Come on Mom, it’s just one.

Me: Claire, we’re not getting a sweet roll. We came here to get bagels to take to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. If you ask me again… (insert the “I’m serious, don’t say another word” look here)

Ella: (interjecting in her loud and dramatic four year old voice) You’re the meanest mom in the whole wide world.

[I shake my head and look for someplace to hide. I’m quite sure everyone in the store is watching us.]

Nice Lady next to me in line: (turning to Ella) – No sweety, you’re mom can’t be the meanest mom in the whole wide world. I’m the meanest mom in the whole world. My son told me so last night when I made him  eat broccolli for dinner.

[Ella is stunned and silenced by the news that there are other moms just as mean as I am. ]

Nice Lady winks at me and says:  We mean moms have to stick together you know.


Having it all…

May 8, 2008


 It’s been a busy week, not much time to write.


My mom had hip replacement surgery this week, a friend really needed some time for herself away from “mommyhood,” Scott has had a busy week at the office and is traveling today and I’m trying hard to catch up on a month’s worth of homeschooling. I’m grateful at times like these that I’m able to be home and available to my family and friends. Of course, the flipside of that coin are the moments when I look at Scott and say, “Hey, I’ll go into the office today and YOU can stay home.” Of course I know nothing about the mortgage industry so that would be a disaster in and of itself. That fact aside, there’s never really a perfect scenario. It’s the grass is always greener syndrome. I know that it wouldn’t take long before I’d call him from the office and ask him to switch places once again.


I know some stay-at-home moms and even some dads who don’t miss their careers at all. I know others who long to get back to work. I know mom’s who work who would give anything to be at home with their kids. And then there are those like me: I loved what I did and I love what I do now, which means some kind of sacrifice has to be made as well. I think that’s the case for a lot of us.  For those who believe we can have it all (men and women alike, working or at home) I say prove it. I’ve yet to see a life without sacrifice. And, what one chooses to sacrifice is a very personal decision. In many cases there’s no decision to be made; some must sacrifice simply to survive and provide. 


One of my dearest friends, Tina, once said to me, “It’s the fact that you’re sacrificing something else that you want that makes what you’re doing right now meaningful.”  There’s real wisdom in those words. As well as pain and loss.


Sacrifice is at the heart of Christ’s life and our journey with Him isn’t it? It was His sacrifice that gave His incarnation and his death meaning. He sacrificed the glory of heaven to come to earth and He sacrificed His very life so that we could one day experience the glory of heaven. If it hadn’t required sacrifice it wouldn’t have meant anything. Likewise, our lives take on meaning when we learn what it is to sacrifice; when we learn what it means to die to self and really love of others.  That’s when we really can have it all.  All, that is, of what really matters in this life and the life to come.





Note: A friend of mine recently posted on sacrifice and purpose. It’s a good read, especially if you like sports analogies 🙂


In my perfect world…

March 5, 2008

baby foot

In my perfect world…

… I’d get to count your fingers and toes today

In my perfect world…

…today you’d meet your Daddy and his silly sense of humor

In my perfect world… 

…Ella would wear the “I’m the big sister” t-shirt

In my perfect world…

…the sleep deprivation would begin today

In my perfect world… 

…Claire would have another sibling to boss around 

In my perfect world…

…there’d be a little more chaos in our family today

In my perfect world… 

…today I’d be holding you instead of missing you

Protected: On Gingerbread Houses and Being “Crafty”

December 1, 2007

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A Praying Mom

August 27, 2007

Today is the feast day of St. Monica (332-387).

For those of faith traditions that do not celebrate feast days, do not fear, we are not worshiping saints on these days. Feast days of the saints commemorate the lives of brothers and sisters in Christ who loved Jesus and led lives of Godly example for others to follow. A saint’s feast day sometimes falls on their birthday, so you can look at it like we’re celebrating this family member’s birthday, or on the anniversary of their death in which case we’re celebrating their union with God in heaven. Ultimatley we’re celebrating the gift they are to the family of God and the lives they lived for Jesus.

St. Monica was the mother of St. Augustine (a well known theologian of the Christian faith in the early church). I’d never heard of Monica prior to becoming Catholic but since learning of her she’s become one of my heroes. What we know of her comes primarily from the writings of Augustine himself. She was from a devout Catholic family. As a young woman she was given in marriage to a pagan who would not allow her to baptize their children. What is often admired about Monica was her great faith and perseverance in prayer for her family, especially her unbelieving husband (who became a believer in Christ on his deathbed) and her “partying and carousing” son, Augustine. Yep, good ole’ St. Augustine was a prodigal son, so to speak.

Monica prayed for 20 years for her son to leave behind his worldly ways and become a follower of Christ. For a period of time she even forbade him to live with her because of his lifestyle and his belief in the popular Manichaeism heresy of the times; he was known for his illicit affairs and had a mistress who mothered his child. Sounds like she had to put some tough love into action with Augustine. In the meantime, she fasted and prayed continually and wept many tears for her son, all the while dealing with an unbelieving husband who, as the story goes, had a violent temper (Monica suffered a great amount of abuse in her marriage).

Twenty years… It would have been easy to give up hope. I can only imagine how heartbroken she must have been with her son’s worldly ways. How torn she must have been to have a grandchild that she might not have seen very often because of her tough love for her son. How frustrated she must have been to see him using his God-given intelligence to espouse beliefs that were contrary to the truth of the Christian faith. In spite of it all, she persisted in prayer for her son. I have to say that I’ve been praying for some people in my life for a lot less time and sometimes I lack perseverance and faithfulness or I feel like giving up because it seems to me they are never going to turn to Christ as their one and only source of life.

Monica persevered and God answered her prayers in ways she never dreamed. At 29 Augustine moved to Rome. As the story goes, he “outwitted” his mother (hmmm, another word for fooled or deceived) and left for Rome at a time when he knew she wouldn’t be able to follow him. Gee, he sounds like a real loveable and likeable son so far. Monica however, never gave up. She too went to Rome and then to Milan where Augustine was living. While in Milan both Augustine and Monica developed a relationship with Bishop Ambrose, a true leader for Christ. I imagine Monica was thrilled and felt like her son’s relationship with Bishop Ambrose was an answer to her prayers. Makes me think about praying even now for the people my girls will befriend in the future and the influence these people will have over them. 

Eventually Augustine gave up following the heresy of Manichaeism, gave up the illicit relationship with his mistress and became a believer of the Christian faith. He then chose to be celibate and devoted his life to the service of God and the Church. I’m thinking Monica was beside herself at this point; on the one hand thanking God and on the other thinking, “why’d it have to take so long Lord?’ Augustine would later go on to use his considerable intelligence and teaching skills for the faith and become a celebrated saint of the Church.

When I read about Monica, I’m inspired to pray a little harder and a little longer for those I love. One of my prayers has been that the Lord will make me a holy vessel of his love and grace to my husband and children. And, that he’ll make my family a holy family so that we are more like Jesus and we can be a light and testimony of God’s love and power to those around us. This prayer has not come without sacrifice. St. Monica knew what sacrificing and suffering for her family meant. She’s an example of a Godly wife and mother who faithfully prayed for and loved her family. And she was blessed to see the fruit of her faithfulness.

I want to be like that kind of praying mom.