When I lived near LA I used to listen to KROQ and I always loved their Flashback Fridays that highlighted hits of the past. Well, today is a Flashback Friday version of 7 Quick Takes! Kelly’s Link-toberfest over at This Ain’t the Lyceum.org is winding down and we are going out with a bang! Kelly asked us which was our most popular Quick Take post but as I was reading through old QT’s and reliving the past I found some other favorite posts so here are my top 7 Quick Takes.
To keep up with the Flashback theme, I’ve put on my “oldies” playlist (otherwise known as songs from my youth) so grab your favorite band from the list (The Smiths, The Cure, New Order, Depeche Mode, The Clash, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, B52’s, Smashing Pumpkins, REM, No Doubt, Ocean Blue…) and crank it up. To start you off here is a video from Quick Takes 7/27/13 – “That’s the Impression That I Get” from the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones. (Never have white socks with a dark suit looked so good.)
#1 – Most Popular Post
I was watching Far from the Madding Crowd, When Calls the Heart and listening to Empire by Monsters and Men and reading Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World: Finding Intimacy With God in the Busyness of Life and The Girl on the Train. I also talked about following small prompts from the Holy Spirit.
On Mother’s Day we were at Mass and we had the usual mothers’ blessing. All the moms were asked to stand up and after the priest blessed us the ushers went around and handed us little angel pins as a gift. I noticed that there was one older mom/grandma standing on the opposite side of the aisle from me that was mistakenly overlooked. I felt bad for her and thought that I should go over there and give her my pin. My mind answered, “Wait, what? I can’t just walk over to a stranger. She’s not going to care about some pin. That’s silly.” But the thought would not go away so as soon as the priest walked passed me after Mass, I went over to her and told her that I noticed she didn’t get a pin and I didn’t want her to think she was forgotten so please take mine. She said she didn’t want to take mine but I told her not to worry because there are more in the back of church and I’ll get another. She looked at me and smiled and then gave me a big hug and said thank you. (I’m getting teary eyed just recalling that look on her face.) It was the simplest of gestures but for that woman, it was what she needed to hear just then. So the next time you get a little prompt from the Holy Spirit, take it to heart. God may need you to be his hands and feet at that moment.
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#2 – Funniest Quick Takes (Even if I was the only one laughing.)
Welcome to my parish. I am so pleased to have you join us at Mass. I do not mind you sitting behind me. I will be patient with you and your children because I know how difficult it can be to keep them quiet. I am also sympathetic that sometimes little ones need bribes of cheerios and fishy crackers to sit still. However, once your kids are over toddlerhood (and in grammar school) it is best to not let them eat in Church. And it is particularly discouraged to have them eating Jack-in-the-Box tacos and fries in the pew, minutes before Mass is going to start. The least you could have done is brought extra tacos for those of us sitting around you. That taco smell is very seductive, making one crave the greasy goodness of tortillas fried around mystery meat.
The Parishioner with the Growling Stomach
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#3 – Most Drama-Queen Quick Take (aka It doesn’t seem that bad now but back then I was in tears.)
TMI Alert – I turned my head to look back at John-Paul and saw chunks fly out of his mouth. I was covered in it, the desk chair was dripping and the desk was splattered. Immediately Matthew saw puddles of liquid to be splashed in and ran over. Luckily I was wearing a jacket over a tank top so I threw off the jacket, which had most of his lunch, and in one arm I held JP and my desk trash can, in case more was to come, and in my other arm I grabbed Matthew and ran down the long hallway to my bathroom. (See, all that walking is paying off.)
I looked in the mirror and saw vomit dripping from my cheek onto my neck. Nice. There’s nothing like the glamour of motherhood. I quickly wiped my face off then bathed JP while Matthew emptied out the contents of the bathroom drawers on the floor.
The Famous Last Words “I Only Turned for A Second” – I finished cleaning JP and then smelled Matthew’s stinky diaper. No problem, after JP’s fiasco this will be cake. Now this is where things get scary – seriously. I grabbed the phone to call the speech therapist and leave her a message that we won’t be there. I placed Matthew on the bed to be changed. As I’m leaving my message, phone cradled in my neck, I had one hand on Matthew and with the other hand I tried to grab a diaper wipe that was just… out… of… my… reach… and my wiggle worm tried to escape but headed in the wrong direction – right off the bed. He fell down and started screaming. I hang up the phone. (What a message that will be.)
Snap Out of It – I picked up Matty to comfort him and you know how a baby cries really hard then sucks in a breathe and cries even louder? Well, Mathew sucked in the air but never let it out. He just stood there then looked almost like he was going to faint. I freaked out. I thought perhaps he hit his head so hard he had brain damage. My mind traveled at warp speed – it a matter of seconds I pictured the whole scenario – me in the hospital, the doctor telling me they did everything they could, my breakdown, the funeral… I slapped myself out of it and rubbed his chest and called his name. He finally took a breath and whimpered but seemed tired out. As I debated going to the emergency room or calling 911, I quickly changed his dirty diaper. There was no time for me to change out of my vomit clothes. I’d have to bring JP with me and hope he doesn’t get sick again. In the meantime Matthew had quieted down and seemed better…
You can read the rest here but I’ll give you a hint. He lived. 😉
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#4 – The Happiest Quick Takes
I just remember being super happy when I wrote this because Brian’s surgery went well, they got all the cancer out and he was coming home!
It’s been a loooong week. Brian went in for surgery last Friday and it has been a roller coaster ride of good moments and bad moments. However, all I can think about now is that I get to take this handsome man home tomorrow! (It’s Thurs night now so he comes home Friday.) We are ecstatic! I told the kids they could stay home from school and we are having a welcome home party instead. 🙂 Woohoo!
Brian will still need to go through chemo but he can’t do anything until his body is completely healed from the surgery. (He is still in some pain and barely getting used to food again.) The doc talked to him today and said the “good news” is that his panel of 16 nodes showed cancer in only one node. It is hard to think of that as good news. But then we found out that another patient down the hall had a panel of 22 nodes examined and he had cancer in all 22 nodes. Yeah, I guess when you look at it from his perspective, Brian is lucky. The doc said Brian is strong and (comparatively) young so once he gets his strength back, he can fight and beat this. We are praying that he does!
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#5 – The Obligatory Catholic NFP Quick Take
I don’t know if I want to get into this, but since it has been on my mind a lot, Quick Take # 5-7 are rolled into one. (TMI Alert: skip this take if you don’t want to read about fertility, cycles and sex, or lack of it.)
I was talking to my NFP teacher last night. She has been helping Brian and I get through a rough patch in our NFP charting. She told me to let her know how things are going in the next couple weeks and then jokingly said that maybe she could tell by the tone of my blog…but probably not seems it is usually pretty upbeat or positive or whatever the exact word was that she used. I’ve been thinking about that. The last time I wrote about NFP was a couple years after Brian and I were married. Since then I’ve had a love-hate relationship with NFP. When my cycle is “normal,” it is great but when it’s not, it’s a lot tougher.
After Matthew was born my cycle has been really crazy which has required a lot of abstinence…for weeks….and weeks…and weeks with no end in sight. I’m really struggling with being faithful to the church’s teaching and having to die to myself again and again. Normally, I would not mention something so personal and private in a public place especially since it doesn’t just involve me. (But if you are reading this now, then Brian gave me the okay to post this.)
I decided to mention this topic because over the summer Danielle Bean wrote Five Ways I Don’t Love NFP and shared about her concerns and Jennifer Fulwiler gave her take in Bad at NFP and Proud. Their words were encouraging to me and I discussed the topics they brought up with Brian. They gave us that little boost we needed to hang in there and know that there are others who love God, love their Catholic faith and are trying to be open to new life yet are struggling with some of the challenges of NFP. So if by chance you are one of those people struggling, hang in there. We’re in this together. I’ll say a prayer for you. Please say a prayer for me.
Later I’ll write a longer post about what I’ve learned about NFP over the years and what I do love about it. But right now, I am not in the right frame of mind because the only title I can think of is “NFP Sucks, but I’m Using It Anyway.” 😉
(UPDATE: Maybe I just needed to get this off my chest. It is days later and although we are still waiting, God’s grace has increased and we are resolved to wait it out as best as we can. We are praying that it draws us closer to God and to each other in the end. I have to remember the motto I use during the difficult newborn months, “And this too shall pass.”)
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#6 – The Grossest Quick Takes (aka, Did I actually write that?)
This all took place while the kids were sick with a nasty cold that seemed to take forever to clear up. Normally I am used to being sneezed on (usually right in the face while I’m talking so the germs can head straight into my mouth.) And I’ve learned to live my life as a human Kleenex. I’m not exaggerating. A kid will walk up to me and literally wipe his snot nose against my pant leg leaving a huge slime trail on my leg. Ah, the glamour if motherhood. Normally, I throw a fit shrug it off but with the food poisoning all my defenses were down and those nasty germs were going to make up for all the times I avoided them. The cold wasn’t too bad but I swear (TMI alert) the stuff coming out of my nose was straight from an alien horror movie.
Thankfully the cold didn’t last too long but the plugged up nose and pressure stuffed head wouldn’t go away. On top of it all, I lost all sense of smell. Perhaps it wasn’t a huge deal but I am big on smells. I could live without smelling the Christmas delights like fresh pine and baked goods. What troubled me is that I couldn’t smell when the toast was burning. I couldn’t smell the questionable milk to see if it was still good. Matthew wore a stinky diaper for hours because I didn’t notice he stunk until Brian came home from work and told me. And have you ever tried to shop for perfume when you can’t smell?? I was in the department store snorting a bottle of fragrance when the saleslady suspiciously asked me if I needed help. I resigned to my fate and simply picked out the prettiest looking bottle hoping it wasn’t actually gag-inducing.
Then it happened. A couple days later I woke up and heard Matthew pushing and “doing his business” in bed. As I laid in bed and waited for him to be done so I could change him, I slowly started to smell the stench. I jumped out of bed and took a big whiff of his behind. Man, I was never so excited to smell a stinky diaper in all my life. I could smell again! And the heavens rejoiced. So it seemed.
Anyway, did I really spend all seven takes talking out food poisoning, snot, and poop? Wow. That’s sad. Oh, well. Let us rejoice in the small crosses in life. Compared to what could be going wrong, that is nothing. God is good!
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# 7 – Funnest to Write Quick Takes
25 Useless but True Facts about Me
1. “Bobbi” is not a nickname but my actual name. I love my name and I’m happy I was named after my dad. (Thanks for not naming me Roberta, mom and dad.)
2. When I was in preschool my finger got caught in wheel spokes and as a result I have a crooked right pinky with a broken nail.
3. As a kid, I loved desk items and school supplies and always wanted to be a writer. (Office supply stores still make me giddy.)
4. As a kid, I loved playing school, bank, store and carnival with my brothers and sisters. (Now I avoid going to schools & banks and live in a carnival-like house of four kids. Unfortunately for my pocketbook, I never outgrow the love of shopping.)
5. I am the oldest of nine kids. (So having four kids is really only a medium sized family.)
6. I used to have a pair of cool blue tennis shoes-roller skates.
7. My mom often told me I was a drama queen. (Sooo exaggerated.)
8. In school I was always the peacemaker who tried to bring arguing friends together. (I believe in the Rodney King mantra, “Can’t we all just get along.”)
9. I have no affection for cats whatsoever. (I just heard a unison of gasps. Sorry.)
10. I once dated a guy who turned into a stalker-crazy boyfriend.
11. I loved my converse and doc martin shoes. (I traded in my docs for flats but I still have some brown converse.)
12. For a time, I was a sucker for guys with bald heads, tattoos and eyebrow rings yet I fell in love with a guy as clean cut as they come.
13. When I am stressed out I play a game of spider solitaire and listen to New Order.
14. I am incredibly nosey and always have to know what’s going on.
15. When I was younger I thought it was pathetic when people in their 30’s & 40’s went to concerts of bands from their youth. I have officially become pathetic because if there was a reunion tour in my town of the cure, the smiths, new order, depeche mode or psychedelic furs, I’d be running out the door I’d consider going.
16. I can’t sew a stitch. When I was younger, I once hemmed my pants with duct tape. (And I vaguely remember “sewing” a dress for my doll with a stapler.)
17. I was seriously discerning a religious vocation two years before meeting my spouse.
18. My husband discerned he wasn’t called to the priesthood. The day he left the seminary he started a novena to find a wife. On the last day of the novena he “met” me online. (Funny that Brian’s prayers were answered immediately while I had to wait years.)
19. I feel absolutely and completely blessed to be married to the best man I have ever known. He has a certain look that can still make my heart skip a beat. (Swoon.)
20. My greatest treasures are my four kids – Bella, Andrew, John-Paul & Matthew. (Sometimes I just need a break in order to appreciate that fact!)
21. I have made a lot of incredibly stupid mistakes in my life but God has used them all to teach me a lesson and make me stronger and more understanding of other people’s weaknesses.
22. I can easily be moved to tears – both happy and sad.
Phot0 source (Isn’t that pretty!)
23. When I laugh my eyes water and I always bring a handkerchief to the movies when I see a funny movie…or sad one. (A real handkerchief. It is very Downton Abbey of me.)
24. I hate being mad at someone and I am eager to make up.
25. The three things I am most grateful for are my life, my family, and God’s love & mercy.
Okay, that was a huge post but I had fun looking back and laughing at my weirdness and thanking God for his goodness. I’ve truly been blessed and love being able to share a little bit of my life with you. So tonight I am thankful for you being here with me over years. I’m thankful for the shared laughs and for the offered prayers when things were rough. It means a lot to me. Thank you. xoxo
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