Thursday, January 31, 2008

so cool

The baby is kicking and moving a lot and it's just begun to be strong enough that one can see my body move as he punches and rolls to his content.

It's so amazing.

Hey buddy

Today I ran to the bank. I pulled up into a parallel parking space. The car in front of me then began to back up, straight into me. Of course he was looking ahead while backing up, and so he ran right into me while I was honking at him from behind.

Once he had stopped he looked at me in his side mirror and then drove away.

Now of course he was going like 3 miles an hour so the car wasn't hurt, the baby wasn't hurt and I wasn't hurt but still! He should have apologized and asked if I was okay. Dude, that's the courteous thing to do.

I was right in front of the courthouse and I quickly looked to see if a cop had witnessed the incident but alas, no. Darn.

Monday, January 28, 2008


We now have a bedroom! It's fantastic. I will take and post pictures soon.
Saturday while I was a work Travis painted, put down the temporary carpet, hung the door and moved all our furniture into the room. It's absolutely wonderful!

Also on Saturday I had a check-up with our midwife, Bernice. She moved my due date back to April 30th, which means that I am not yet 27 weeks pregnant.

Good news:
- my protein levels were good
- my blood pressure was good
- my glucose levels were good

Bad news:
- I'm not supposed to eat sweets or white flour products because I'm getting too fat. Those weren't her words, but they're true.

In my defense I am a much better eater when I have a stove to make my own dinner instead of eating out or from the microwave so much. And this weekend we will be getting stove so things should be improving.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Within the last month I had a person from Malaysia spend some time reading my blog.
It blows my mind and I thank all my visitors for stopping by.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Law and Order - SVU ticked me off last night

Did anyone else watch SVU last night and find it just a little distasteful?
Okay, more than a little distasteful.

As a woman and a mother I have a pretty big issue with the whole concept of "let's freeze my eggs so when I die in Iraq you can still have a baby with me, and a part of me will last forever." I don't want children to remind me of Travis or to be my little Travis if he dies - I want children for the sake of each child, for who they are as individuals and expressions of love.

And please, someone tell me this is wrong (and granted I got it from a tv show) but is the law in NY really that a baby is not a person until he takes his first breath?

Dead Man Walking

Last night, Eureka College hosted Sr. Helen Prejean, the author of Dead Man Walking on which the Sean Penn / Susan Sarandon movie was based. This spitfire of a religious spoke for over an hour on the issue of social justice. She did a FANTASTIC job, using humor and her faith without ever once alienating.

Sr. Helen began by discussing how as a younger nun she did not get social justice. She called it a "misunderstanding of Jesus" - that she knew the Charity of Christ but not the justice. She also talked about how she had so spiritualized the Gospel that she wasn't putting her faith into action in many ways. When it came to the hungry she just thought, "Man does not live on bread alone..."

But through a series of events she came to understand Matthew 25 - the Judgement of the Nations: I was in prison and you visited me; I was naked and you clothed me; I was hunger and you gave me something to eat.

Throughout the night she would speak of the implacability of every person. And she said that we need to question any system that takes away the dignity of a person, whether that be a man on death row, a woman with Alzheimer's, a baby in the womb or a woman who doesn't know what to do but abort.

She spoke of the two arms of Christ, the one that gathers in the murderers, comforting and loving them, and the other that gathers in the mourning families of the victims.

Needless to say, it was a powerful talk, but the best part was how quietly and friendly she moved us.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Roe v. Wade

Today is the sad anniversary of the legalization of abortion in the United States.

Educate yourself on what abortion is, how it is done, why it is done, how often it is done, how babies develop in the womb and how its legalization has correlated with statistics in rapes, STDs, sexual activity, teenage pregnancies, divorce and unwed parents.


Good links for info are:

Pro Life Search

Priests for Life

National Right to Life

Humanae Vitae

Q&A with Pro-Life Action League

Friday, January 18, 2008

26 weeks and 2 days

Per the request of several friends, here are some new pictures of my prego belly. Please excuse the pajamas. (But do check out our new fridge and cabinets - which still lack counter tops.)
Absolutely lovely.

I have gained about 30lbs now, and I still have 3 months to go. This makes me a little nervous, but not nervous enough to stop eating the Sweet Tarts on my desk.

I have also begun to have heartburn, leg cramps at night, shortness of breath (especially when I walk up stairs with the same amount of gusto I had pre-pregnancy) and things can be awful uncomfortable. I feel the best sitting at the edge of a chair with my back up straight, or what would otherwise be called "good posture." Sometimes it just feels like the kid is shoving something right up the middle of me, well into my chest. But I'm not complaining - I'm loving this part of pregnancy.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dear FOCUS, I love you.

FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) recently held a national conference in Texas. Through the generosity of the Diocese of Peoria, three EC students were able to go for free.

EC has a Newman Center, an old house with a beautiful chapel. However, it does not have a chaplain or campus minister. The Sacraments have not been offered to our students on campus for two years. There is a small amount of ministry that happens there - every Wednesday Trav, our friend Keri and I offer a small Bible Study / discussion. Parishioners from the local parish provide a home cooked dinner immediately following. The students come at 4:30 and stay until 6-8 pm, depending on night classes, play practice, etc. It is a phenomenal group of students, Catholic and nonCatholic, but they are consistent, prayerful and fun.

However, the impact that Conference has made is already apparent. R, B and L came back from the week long event of conferences, Mass, adoration, confession and concerts with several thousand other college students and began attending daily Mass (at 7am one town over - the only option they have) and asking for help praying the rosary. We are even holding a holy hour in our chapel tonight.

FOCUS is a group that sends missionaries to campus to lead Bible studies and disciple students, building them into leaders. They are young, fun and passionate about Christ. I respect them because they don't hire just one kind of young adult - the women missionaries run from sweet to sassy, the men are intellectuals and jocks. And they wholeheartedly believe that the glory of God is man fully alive. It is impressive for college students to be surrounded by such people - their peers who are fully alive, deeply in love with Christ, and fun! (Who knew you could be fun and devout?) And then FOCUS really did a wonderful thing in bringing holy, dynamic Catholics such as Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Mother Assumpta Long and Deacon Alex Jones to speak to them.

Well done, FOCUS, well done. Thank you for all your efforts to put on the Conference and for all you do on our college campuses.

Our first baby

This is the week that my due date for our first baby fell in. On the actual date itself I went out of town to visit friends and be with people I could cry in front of and also attend Mass celebrated by a friend and offered for Peter.
The day was spent visiting and catching up with wonderful Catholic friends. And I had an excellent chai tea.

The best gift, though, was that the first reading at Mass was from the beginning of 1 Samuel - the story of Hannah's grief over not having a baby. I have been attracted to her since early in college and it brought me great comfort to mourn with her a little.

But it is still tough, and though I am almost 7 months pregnant with our second child, I would still appreciate your prayers as I continue to grieve. Pray for Trav, too. It's different for him, but still a loss.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Study of the Humanities

Here are two fascinating articles from the New York Times about the study of humanities, written by a professor of the humanities, Stanley Fish.

To the question “of what use are the humanities?”, the only honest answer is none whatsoever. And it is an answer that brings honor to its subject. Justification, after all, confers value on an activity from a perspective outside its performance. An activity that cannot be justified is an activity that refuses to regard itself as instrumental to some larger good. The humanities are their own good.

As an English major I was very intrigued by his thoughts. I loved being a humanities student. Literary theory was one of the greatest gifts I've ever been given by any teacher or professor. After acquiring that tool I found that I enjoyed all literature, movies, plays and even art more. I loved being able to take a stanza of a poem and open it up like a treasure chest. My philosophy class in college drove me crazy - there were no right answers with Socrates - just more questions! And I had always been one who believed in a right answer. But as I continued to read and discuss and question I came to hold the freedom of interpretation supported by knowledge and critical thinking. Those were other gifts given to me by my humanities professors: the art of interpretation, knowledge to know the value of more knowledge and the fine tuning of my critical thinking skills. There are definite wrongs and rights of course, but what I think the motivation of a character is compared to what you think it is is not one of them.

I also agree with Stanley Fish and his commenter when they say that the study of humanities brings about more informed and interesting people. The kind you want to have dinner parties with. In what I hope is not a form of snobbery, my favorite conversations have usually involved a book, some wine, chocolate and another lover of the humanities.

So how did I end up married to a physicist? :)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Entering the priesthood

Recently a friend of Travis' and mine told us that he is going to enter seminary next year. We are so thrilled for him as he discerns God's will.

He's a great guy - the kind of man who would make a great priest or husband. And I tend to think that that's exactly what every priest or husband should be. Kind, patient, humble, generous, holy, posses a good sense of humor - that's how I would describe my favorite priests and my husband. A good priest is a good man. And by that I mean MAN. I appreciate a manly priest - whether that means he hunts, fishes, drinks scotch, swing dances, mountain bikes, writes, paints or plays ultimate frisbee - he is firm in his handshake, good with children, can relate to youth by talking about his former girlfriends and has a deep love for St. Joseph and our Blessed Mother.

I do not know our friend's family well. And I only know a small group of his friends. But I sincerely hope that he is surrounded by many supportive people, Catholics and nonCatholics alike. When one of my friends entered religious life her mother continued to buy her lipstick and purses for over a year. Another friend was given a list of the 100 Reasons Not to Be Catholic as a last ditch effort by one of her sorority sisters. This same girl's father (in the midst of a conversation about dowries) said he would take a squirrel skin for his daughter as long as it meant she would marry and not become a nun.

So please keep our friend in your prayers. He is courageously living a radical life. Praised by God.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

God's provision in the mail

Two days ago in the mail Travis and I received a letter with no return address. The envelope and the note inside had been typed. All it said was,
"With Love this finds you,
With Hope it strives to be helpful,
and with God's Blessing it shows He Loves you."
It was a gift card for $100 in gas.
No signature.
To the person or persons who sent this our way: THANK YOU!
We are so humbled by and grateful for your generosity. May God bless you as He has blessed us.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I eat like a hobbit

1st Breakfast
2nd Breakfast
Afternoon Tea
Perhaps Tolkien's wife was pregnant when he developed their eating patterns. Already today I've had 4 meals and it's just a little past noon.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A very delayed recap of Christmas

My two weeks of Christmas break were pretty much crappy. We moved from the second floor apartment to the first floor of our house. We worked pretty much every day of the two weeks and were lucky enough to have help. (Many thanks to Katie B, Mom, Dad, Karl, Bart, Meg, Deb and Jeff.)

It was actually rather stressful and I cried... a lot. Especially on our anniversary when we stayed home to work and finally made a toast with our goblets and ate our wedding cake around 11pm during a break.
But besides all that, I did have some fun. And here are pictures to prove it:
Mom and dad got us all a basketball game like the one we played with when we were younger. We then had a tournament. Karl won.
My mom always does a beautiful job of decorating for Christmas.
These are the peanut chews I made basically because I love them.

Karl playing Christmas carols. I love when he plays the guitar.

The Bears onesie I got Travis.

Karl and his lovely assistant (our cousin, Laura) doing a magic trick.

Grandma and Grandpa F learning how to bowl with the Wii.

A great action shot of Grandma. :)

Monday, January 7, 2008

I meant "salt"!

Yesterday Travis and I were sitting in the Lowe's parking lot waiting for his aunt.

A youngish couple walked by, the man carrying a bag of salt, the woman dressed in a pair of jeans that made her butt look great. (You just wait until your body changes - you'll look at other women and reminisce, too.)

Travis said, "Maybe I should buy some salt."

I said, "Don't we already have butt?"