Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Perhaps I'm a Bit of an Idealist...

I have to smile at myself. My friend reminded me that the domestic life does not always (ever?) involve a "calm serenity" in daily life. But she has a good point - there is a peace of soul gained by fulfilling one's vocation. I think that's what I am most yearning for, and what I am beginning to feel. I realize that my day-to-day life will most likely be anything but calm. However, I will be at peace internally because I am participating in the role God has prepared for me. That I am sure of.

Monday, September 29, 2008

28 Weeks (7 Months)

I'm officially wearing maternity clothes!

How Apropos: The Perfect Feast Day

Today is the Feast Day of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. I find it particularly fitting that on my unborn child's feast day I officially begin my career change as a stay-at-home wife/mother. Or, as I am fond of saying, I have begun my retirement from the workforce today!

I have to admit, it's after 3:00pm and I am not yet fully dressed. Nor have I started working on any of my housewifely duties. But the good news is that I've caught up on all my blogs and emails (very important) - and there are no online shows to distract me ('cause I've already watched them).

Transitions are always difficult for me. I knew today would be kind of a waste, as I reassessed my daily schedule and spent the day with no official commitments pressing on my time. It's hard to figure out where to begin. With Michael Ryan still in womb, I don't yet have all the responsibilities of motherhood. However, I want to discipline and prepare myself before he arrives. But I can't think very clearly with the apartment in chaos (and, believe me, there is chaos here, leftover from the last couple of frantic, busy weeks)!

Knowing that today is St. Michael's feast day does clear my mind. There is a purpose, a reason, for my early retirement. It's not because I am tired, or lazy, or just plain bored with the corporate world. My vocation is to marriage and motherhood. I've been dreaming about the opportunity to raise my children, take care of husband, and make our home a delight to live in. My dreams are finally becoming a reality! Now I have to figure out how to get from point A to point B: from the chaos of the DINK lifestyle to the calm serenity of the domestic wife & mother vocation.

The best way to start is to just begin, to get moving. I've got an hour and a half before Ryan returns home. It's time to turn on the Laura Ingraham podcast, wash those dishes, and tidy the house. Eventually all will be organized and I will have a new daily schedule. There's peace in knowing that transitions can't last forever.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What's the Grip Againt Sarah Palin?

Technically, this is not a political blog. But I can't help expressing my frustration today over the obvious inequalities in the media - specifically concerning Sarah Palin & Barak Obama. Does it occur strange to anyone else that the media is grilling the Republican VP nomination harder than the Democratic presidential nomination?

The thing is, I really like Sarah Palin. I agree with a lot of what she says (not sure on the exact percentage, 80%...90% - I haven't heard all she has to say yet!). I think she is a wonderful example of a conservative woman out in the public sphere. So many of us, conservative women, that is, don't get a chance to make our views known publically. She represents a lot of women in our country, and I'm just one of the many.

I've been catching up on the Palin/Gibson ABC interviews on YouTube (we have no TV - a post on that later!) and Gibson's attitude towards Palin is appalling. He questions her like she's a dumb school kid, in trouble for lying, and he comes off as totally arrogant and full of himself. It really burns me up! Does anyone speak to Obama like that? Not even Bill O'Reilly.

I happen to think that Sarah Palin held her own very well, especially on the final Friday night segment. She laid out her views on abortion, stem-cell research, and gun control very clearly. Gibson kept asking the same question over and over again, implying that she had not made a sufficient answer, when she was very clear to begin with.

Gibson also implied that all women crave abortion rights (if you can even toss around a word like "right" so easily). That really ticked me off. Sure, the topic of abortion is very important in this election. However, having free access to abortion is NOT important to every single American woman. I am sick and tired of my womanhood being represented as "needing abortion" to be feminine. It sickens me. And I'm tired of being quiet.

Sarah Palin, thank you for standing up for your beliefs. We may not entirely agree on the issues, and you may have to defer to the decisions of your presidential running mate - but you stand firm anyway. You give a voice to conservative, pro-life women in politics. And you force the media to redefine it's definition of feminism. Please, please keep it up. We need you.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Catholic Vote 2008

I was so moved by this video, "Catholic Vote 2008," I had to post the link.

I would also like to give a shout-out to Confessions of a Steubie Wife for putting up the link on her blog, leading to my own inspiration.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

24 Weeks (or 6 Months)

Baby Update

Along with being MIA for a month, I haven't yet had the opportunity to share our baby news with you:

We're having a boy!

Ryan and I found out this great news during my first ultrasound, about 5 weeks ago. We had a feeling our first child would be a boy, and we were right on target. It just makes sense to me, to start the family with a boy. I always wanted an older brother (being the eldest of 3 girls) - and since it didn't happen for me, at the very least I can provide an eldest brother for my daughters! Since I have so very much to do with deciding the sex of our children...

We decided to name our first son, Michael Ryan. A tradition stands in Ryan's family to give the first son his father's name as a middle name. Ryan is Ryan Daniel, his father is Daniel Norman, and so forth. Michael's name was chosen years ago (as soon as I knew that Ryan would one day be the father of my children). We had to figure out what sounded the best with "Ryan" as a second name. I also wanted to go strong with a saint or Christian name. We found "Michael" to be the perfect choice - after St. Michael the Archangel. Who better to be the patron saint of our firstborn than the defender of heaven?

It's been fun to call Michael Ryan by name. Some women have told me that it makes them feel closer to the baby to give him/her a name. I don't necessary feel that way. I always knew I would have a son first and name him Michael Ryan. My experience of joy comes from being able to talk about Michael Ryan as a real person, with a name. I no longer have to use the terms "the baby," "him or her," or (worst of all) "it" to talk about my child. I am able to give little Michael Ryan a voice in the world, defending his personhood with a simple name. He may not be able to speak for himself yet, but no one can deny his human rights when he is called by name.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It's Been Awhile...

You might be wondering what's happened since my vacation time (over a month ago). Well, I know at least one person who was wondering - and she lives 5 minutes from me! Let's just say that it's been crazy for the last month. Life has been totally non-stop.

August was a whirlwind of my last full-time days at work, Ryan beginning his duties as Hall Director, guests visiting, friends moving to town, planning baby & bridal showers, and kicking it into high gear with our Christ Renews His Parish retreat preparations. I spent a good part of the month in a daze - and I'm still not sure where all of my time went!

Finally, there has been a shift in my daily schedule, like a breath of fresh air. As of yesterday I began working part-time (noon-5:00, wahoo!) and I feel like a whole new person. I'll be part-time for a total of 3 weeks and then I'm done with the corporate world for good. Wow. Freedom is so close I can taste it! But it's a little daunting too. How am I supposed to discipline myself with such a plethora of free time?

One the one hand, my ministries and social life are really perking up: CRHP, cantoring, scrapbooking evenings, women's book group, Colt's & ND football games, showers & weddings galore... But on the other hand I can actually do housework and errands between the hours of 8am and 5pm! I might even be able to squeeze in daily mass. I feel exhilarated and terrified at the same time.

That's why I grabbed a book from the shelf that has been on my mind for several weeks: A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot. The book details how to center your daily life around your vocational priorities. Just like religious groups have a "rule" to live by, a wife/mother can create a rule for her family - a pattern for living that focuses on prayer and daily duties. Essentially, it's the ability to create a schedule that puts God first and finds a time to do all the daily tasks that otherwise seem insurmountable.

Holly outlines the wife and mother's priorities as such:
  • Prayer
  • Person
  • Partner
  • Parent
  • Provider
As I was reading during my 30 minute shuttle ride this morning, I felt inspired to finally make a change in my daily life. It's the perfect time. Life is already in the midst of change and I have to find a way to use my time wisely. I've been freaking out over all the stuff left undone, as well as the challenge of facing an unscheduled day in the near future. The time is ripe.

So, if all goes well, I'll be back here on a more regular basis. And I'm excited to share with you how centering my life on a God-focused schedule brings "order to [my] home and peace to [my] soul." If you get a chance, pick up a copy of A Mother's Rule of Life. It has helped me in the past, and I am certain it will continue to help me in this newest stage of my life.