Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

7 Quick Takes (1/24/15): Brian & Opa Updates & Lent Preparations

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Wow, yesterday was a hell of a day. For those of you following on Instagram and Facebook, you’ve heard the initial news, but I’ve included a few updates as well. I am also linking up with Kelly for Seven Quick Takes Friday…but on a Saturday.

 

~ 1 ~

(FRIDAY RECAP – If you haven’t already heard.)

Revolution of Love Blog - bv_os_6_2014Brian and his dad Bill sharing a bday party last year.

Okay, so yesterday morning as Brian was preparing for his cancer testing stuff, we got a call from my mother-in-law (Elizabeth) that my father-in-law (Bill) had a stroke. he couldn’t move and he was rushed to the ER. I freaked out. Brian freaked out. Bella (who was home sick) freaked out.

Luckily, our freak out was short lived. We got a grip and tried to figure out what to do next. Brian’s mom said we should continue with Brian’s testing since there was nothing we could do at the moment. I told Brian a cancer-free diagnosis would give his parents the boost they needed right now. (Also knowing the opposite diagnosis would pretty much do them both in and maybe me along with them.)

I left Brian at the testing center, told them I’d be back and headed to the hospital. I only got to see Bill for a couple seconds but he looked really bad. (Secretly, I am glad Brian didn’t see him in that state.) The docs decided to move Bill to Stanford Medical Center. They needed to preform surgery to get the blood clot out of his head. I kissed Bill on the head and prayed he survived the drive and then the surgery. ( I also pleased with God to let him survive the surgery otherwise Brian would never get to say goodbye if he didn’t.)

After picking up the kids from school I headed back to Brian to pick him up. When they led me into his room/cubby he had “that look” on his face and I wondered if he was worried about his dad or worried about the prognosis he was given. He immediately asked about his dad but I told him to hold up, what did his doctor say?? No cancer.

Siiiiiiiigh! A HUGE weight fell off my shoulders. He had one polyp but they removed it and it didn’t look cancerous at all. It’ll be tested of course but doc said everything looked good. I can’t tell you how relieved I was. Like the angels were singing from on high.

Now I could deal with my FIL and helping him get better. I filled Brian in on the details and told him that if anyone could pull through this, it was Dad. He is the most stubborn and feisty (as well as generously loving) man I know and he wouldn’t let this beat him if he had anything to do with it. Brian just smiled.

Fast forward to later that evening. Brian was not able to travel yet so a family friend drove my MIL to Stanford. They finally called in the evening and told us that the surgery was successful. The doc had been worried that it wouldn’t work but he got the clot out and Opa was recovering nicely. When he came to, his speech was a little slurred and he was a disorientated but my MIL said he was insistent that she call me and let me know that he wouldn’t be able to pick up the kids from school today. That touched my heart. It showed you where his mind was – thinking about his precious grandchildren, who were now asleep in bed. πŸ™‚

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SATURDAY UPDATE

Β© revolution of love blog - opa_5_12Opa with John-Paul and Matthew a couple years back.

This morning Brian drove to Stanford with his mom. I decided to stay home with the kids since myΒ  FIL is in the ICU and they can’t go in there. I just got off the phone with Brain and he said the MRI looked good, dad’s speech was much clearer and although he was still confused a bit (concerned about wanting to pick up the kids) he carried on a conversation and understood what they were saying. Brian said there are moments when he talks like himself and other times when he can’t figure out where he is and why we won’t give him his car keys to leave. We made him a Get Well card with photos of the family and he told Brian that was the only medicine he needed. Lastly, he starts physical therapy tomorrow and may be able to come home as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday. Brian just kept saying, “Its a miracle.” Seeing how bad be was yesterday and considering his advanced age, I’d tend to agree! Now we just have to adjust to the new version of Opa and help him to cope as he heals.

 

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Gracias!!

A big part of that was due to all your prayers!! From the “I woke up in the middle of the night and had to pray for you but didn’t know why” to the sacrifices and rosaries and to the prayers from kitchens to the convents – all of these made a difference with both Brian’s diagnosis and his dad’s recovery. Thank you!! Blessed be God!! (Did I mentioned how relieved I am!!!)

 

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Blessed Is She Lenten Journals

The trials of the last couple of days has brought me to my knees, literally. Someone posted on FB that Lent is less than a month away. Is that possible?? I feel a like I am in Lent mode already (well, except for the fact that I ate a tad bit too much stress chocolate yesterday…)

bis_lent_journal_1But this morning I started preparing for Lent by ordering my Blessed Is She Lenten Journal. For those who enjoyed the Advent journal, this one is very similar but there are also a few more options, like the two beautiful 8 x 10 color prints that can be framed or placed where it will give you daily inspiration. I can feel the peace flowing already. πŸ˜‰ Be sure to pre-order yours today! (The Advent journal did sell out!)

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Restore Workshop

restore_2015_1_640Photo credit: ElizabethFoss.com

The second thing I did for Lent was to sign up for Elizabeth Foss’ Restore Workshop. I took the course last year because I was physically and emotionally drained with Brian’s illness and trying to keep the family running smoothly. I did feel burned out and I wasn’t sure how to get out of it. The course was the balm for the soul that I desperately needed.

However, this year I debated whether or not I should take the course (for about 5 seconds) because I don’t feel burned out. Sure I still have my moments of stress and interior chaos but I feel like I am slowly working through it. However, the course did me such good! The essays. The meditations. The podcasts. The creative activities. (Can you say homemade granola??) Even now, I still go back to Elizabeth’s words and my notes and remind myself of the things God taught me.

No, I may not be burned out but I could definitely use a little TLC for my mind, body and spirit so I signed up this afternoon. The cost is $65 but it’s worth every penny. To find out more, visit NurturingJoy.com. If you click on Elizabeth’s post here, she also has a few words and a larger version of the above graphic that contains the schedule for the course.

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Martha’s Still My Girl

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I also wanted to mention that I switched my cleaning challenge. I’ll complete the more intense A Bowl Full of Lemon’s Challenge later in spring but for now I am doing the 31 Day to Clean: Having A Martha House the Mary Way hosted by Christian blogger and author Sarah Mae.Β  God has been putting Mary and Martha into my life left and right and since St. Martha is my saint of the year, well, come on! It was a no brainer. I can’t exactly follow the schedule since some days I spend more time in the hospital than home (ahem) but on the other hand, when I am home sitting by the phone, like today, I find comfort in scrubbing my kitchen. (From the looks of it, I don’t sit by the phone much.) πŸ˜‰Β  I’ve already started and I must say, it is just what I needed. I’ll blog more about it next week.

 

~ 7 ~

Well, I have supper to make and kids to bathe so I better stop here. Have a blessed rest of the weekend and thanks again for all the prayers! Much love to you…

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram. πŸ˜‰

PPS – This post may contain affiliate links.


31 Days of Gratitude (Day 24 & 25): The Grace of the Cross

The 31 Days of Writing Challenge continues. It’s Day 24 – 25 of my 31 Days of Gratitude.

I started writing this last night but fell asleep so I’m finishing it in the morning and counting it as two days. πŸ˜‰

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(From Jan 2014, after Brian’s surgery to remove the cancerous tumor.)

As many of you know, at the beginning of the year, God asked us to travel a difficult path. In January, my husband Brian was diagnosed with cancer for the second time. He went through his second surgery to remove the cancer and this time around he had to have chemo. They surgically inserted a port into his chest. He had chemo for six months and finished his treatments in July. They won’t take the chemo port out until he has been clean for three months after treatment.

Over the last two months he’s had bloodwork and a scans and this week he went through his last round of bloodwork. We got a call from the doc yesterday and he said that everything looked good, his lymph nodes are clean and there’s no signs of growth. Brian can now schedule the removal of his port. Blessed be God!

I pray that this cancer chapter is over forever! Sometimes, I’ll start to worry, especially when he is not feeling well, that maybe it is back but I’ve got to tell myself to shut up and don’t even go there because worrying like that is no way to live. I’ve just got to enjoy each day we have togeether and not worry about what may or may not happen. Its not the easiest thing for me but I’m trying.

Now we are concentrating on helping Brian recover from the chemo. He started going to a new doctor that has a more holistic approach to medicine and together they are working on building his body and his immune system back up and working on getting the lingering chemo out.

scrip_rom_8_28You know, I hate the cancer that invaded Brian’s body. It brought physical pain, emotional heartache, spiritual questions (and not to mention late night binging on ice cream while I worried about being a widow.) But now that the dust has settled and our lives feel “normal” again, I can’t help but think of the Romans 8:28, “We know that all things work for good for those who love God.” There actually have been positive outcomes to this whole situation.

First, we are taking much better care of our health with diet and exercise. Goodbye double cheeseburgers; hello, salads! Good bye pan dulce and glazed donuts; hello, black bean brownies! Goodbye, couch potato; hello, walking fool. I complain about it (shocking, I know!) but it feels good to feel healthier. (I’ll talk more about the improved health next week. ;-))

Revolution of Love Blog - ba_bv_9_14.jpg

This cross has also brought Brian and me closer together. We have shared such raw moments together that it was either going to drive us apart or cement us together. It brings me to tears as I type to think about just how much I love this man. He’s a gem. Funny thing is, he says the same about me. I always felt like he was the rock and I was the flighty one. To see him hold onto me for strength is disconcerting, and reassuring, at the same time. As a family, it has drawn us closer and made us more compassionate towards those who are suffering illness and their families.

Lastly, we have grown closer to God and more reliant on him. We have been reminded that life is precious and that we can’t take any day for granted. I’m trying not to get so caught up in the tedious chores of the day that I forget to see the beauty in the mess.Β  I think we’ve also come to realize that, by the grace of God, we are much stronger than we think. I have no desire to be tested any further but that’s not the way life works. So for now, I lay it at the feet of Christ and celebrate in the blessings of today. For that, I am truly grateful.

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram. πŸ˜‰

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For more 31 Days of Gratitude, visit the home page here.


Online Daybook (7/30/14) & Embrace the Ordinary (vol 2) – Brian Update, Baby Joan Fund Update & Other Tidbits

 

Moments of Gratitude…

Today I am especially thankful…

  • That Brian finished his last round of chemo!
  • For this beautiful day with blue skies and a slight breeze – no fog and not too hot.
  • For the love and fellowship of family and friends.
  • For my father-in-law taking 3/4 of the kids to his house this afternoon.
  • For running water, stocked cupboards and a warm bed to sleep in at night.
  • For God’s mercy.

 

Embracing the Ordinary…

I’m linking up with Gina over at Someday Saints for Embrace the Ordinary. (Well, technically I was going to link up but I didn’t finish this post in time.) πŸ˜‰

Β After swimming lessons, the boys insisted that I take a photo of the swimmers. The impromptu shot has become a favorite of mine. There is a tiny glimpse of each of their personalities here – John-Paul is ready to jump off the bench and back into the car with his book, Bella is laughing at her little brothers’ antics yet plays along, Matthew is ready to pounce on the bad guys and be a super hero for all and Andrew is experimenting with his cool factor despite his quiet nature. πŸ™‚

 

In the Kitchen…

MondaySlow Cooker Carnitas, homemade refried beans and broccoli slaw. (It smells so good!)

Tuesday – Breakfast dinner.

WednesdayRoasted chicken, brown rice and asparagus.

Thursday – Grilled Tuna Melts & veggies.

Friday – Paleo Mexican Chicken Soup (with leftover chicken from Wed).

Saturday – Homemade pizza and salad.

Sunday – Leftovers

(From Jan 2014, after his surgery to remove the cancerous tumor.)

Praying…

  • For Brian’s continued recovery from cancer.
  • For those who are suffering physically, mentally and spiritually.
  • For all those who have lost loved ones.
  • For all those who are persecuted for their faith.
  • For a deeper love of God.
  • For some special intentions.

 

On the homefront……

Brian Update – I am happy to announce that Brian is officially done with his chemo! Yay! He was having some issues with his stomach and we were freaking out a little because they were the same kind of pains he experienced two years ago when it was first discovered that he had a tumor. He went in for bloodwork and a scan. We got the results yesterday and the doc said everything looked good and his scan was clean. No tumors or growths or any signs of cancer. The doc thinks the stomach pain was side effects from one of the chemo pills he was taking. Being his last round, his body was just having a hard time processing all the chemo and it will take a little time for it to clear out of his body. This morning Brian was feeling better and his stomach wasn’t bothering him too much. The hard part now will be to keep up with eating healthy and healthy living and not becoming complacent! Thank you so much for all your prayers and words of encouragement, you guys. It means so much to both of us. We appreciate your continued prayers for Brian’s recovery and that the cancer stays away!

Joan Iris Update – Today I shut down the PayPal button for donations to my sister Elena and bro in law Vinine and the Joan Iris Fund. You guys were incredibly awesome!! We gathered enough money to but tickets for both my parents to attend the funeral and we have almost $950 extra to go towards funeral expenses. THANK YOU!!!!!!

At the last minute my brother Rob was also able to fly out for the funeral and he told me that being at the funeral was incredibly difficult and incredibly beautiful at the same time. There is great joy in knowing that little Joan Iris is with Our Lord in heaven but there is still the pain of being physically separated from her. Elena and Vinnie have displayed such courage and faith in God, despite their pain, that anyone who has witnessed it is deeply moved.

Also a big thank you to everyone who sent in their prayers, well wishes and contribution for the spiritual bouquet. I am putting the finishing touches on the little memorial book for Joan.

Β Here is a look at the opening page.

 

Pondering…

There has been a lot of news about death lately. Besides all the international and political turmoil these days, people we have known (whether personally or virtually) have died, some of them tragically. Just last night we received an email letting us know that our beloved school principle who just retired this year to spend more time with her family had suddenly and unexpectedly died. We were shocked. The only small silver lining was that it happened at a family gathering in her home town so she was able to spend her last days with those she loved the most. Some of the other deaths (such as Sarah and her unborn child) seem incredibly senseless. It is hard not to get angry and wonder what the heck was God thinking?Β  Why would she be taken away from her husband and young children this way. I don’t know. Intellectually I know God is in control and there is a bigger picture so on and so forth, but emotionally, it just sucks. But I guess it wouldn’t be faith if it was easy to understand.

“I do believe, Lord. Help my unbelief.”

 

Reading…

Danielle Bean’s book Momnipotent.

 

Wearing the Cape by Marion Harmon

 

Listening to…

Itunes Radio – Weekly Top 50 Alternative currently playing the catchy Cool Kids by Echosmith. Downloading it now…Β  Do we ever get out of that “wishing I was a cool kid” mode? Just substitute the word kid for mom and I think not. πŸ˜‰

 

Watching…

At the Movies – I went to see Chef the other night and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this movie. The character, a once promising young chef finds himself middle aged, divorced, out of touch with his young son and stuck in a job that is stifling his culinary creativity. Circumstances bring him to quitting his job and buying a taco truck. In the course of the movie he finds his joy in cooking, in being a dad and in being a better man. The food will make your mouth drool. The music will have you dancing in your seat. The father-son relationship will have you wiping away a tear. Loved it.

Side-note – The movie is rated R for language. You know, in this movie (as in the last one I saw – Begin Again) if they cut out the F-bombs and such, both would have been PG. Go figure.

On TVCedar Cove Season 1 (Hallmark), The Last Ship (This one is really growing on me and there are a number of faith moments on it) and the new Hercule Poirot on Masterpiece.

On YouTube – The Walking Dead Season 5 trailer. Are you as excited as I am? πŸ˜‰

 

On the blog…

I’ve taken some time off so since my last Daybook and I’ve only posted three times:

Blessed Is She (Make sure to follow on FB, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest and sign up for emails. Join the sisterhood!) πŸ™‚

Embrace the Ordinary (vol 1)

Pinterest Party & Link-up (Vol 26): Southwestern Black Bean and Corn SaladΒ  (This link-up is open until Friday so add your links!

 

In the blogosphere…

I wasn’t able to attend Edel this year but I have been enjoying reading all the recaps. Jen has a link-up for all those who wrote a review. Check it out and get your fill. When you are done, come back and let me know – Are you going to Edel ’15??

 

Pinned…

My pin of the week – I am going to try this recipe from Katie at Kitchen Stewardship.com next week – Cancer Fighting Asian Soup. πŸ™‚ Thanks to Teresa K for pointing me in her direction. Katie actually has a lot of recipes on her blog that I’d like to try, especially the ones with cancer fighting foods!

Photo credit – Kitchen Stewardship Blog

 

Plans for the Week…

Well, the week is half way done but tomorrow is our last swimming lesson for the summer. We may be doing some Saturday lessons for the boys in fall so they can keep practicing. Friday we are going to our church’s family night for a pizza party. The boys were begging us to take them. LOL. On Saturday I need to catch up on housework because not being home all week is really putting a damper on my chores. Ugh. Sunday we’ll try to go on a fmaily hike. We need to do a better job at making Sunday a day of rest and family time. Next week Matthew starts preschool! Where did the summer go??

 

Captured…

Here are a few shots from the past two weeks.

Taken at San Carols Cathedral in Monterey

(Same place.) Rose gardens get a lot of attention but I am falling in love with these hardy succulent plants. πŸ˜‰

While I was snapping photos on my phone Bella was attending her first youth group – praying the rosary, playing and eating rosary cupcakes. πŸ™‚

Speaking of Bella, she just got new braces! This weekend she and Andrew attended a children’s symphony with their classical music loving Oma. πŸ™‚

Not wanting to be left out of the shot, Matthew did a donut on his Big Wheels, crashing into Andrew’s leg. Luckily Oma rang the door bell before they got into a scuffle. πŸ˜‰ #lifewithboys

 

Linking-Up with…

A Mama Collective’s Currently

Β 

Gina’s Embrace the Ordinary

(I don’t think she has a logo for it so I’ll use mine. ;-))

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram (It’s set to private but I’ll approve you.) πŸ˜‰

PPS – This post may contain affiliate links.

 


Online Daybook (4/21/14): Easter, Family & Carrying Crosses

He is Risen! He is risen Indeed! I wish you and your loved ones a very blessed Easter season! I set aside blogging for Holy Week but I am back today with my Online Daybook.

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Moments of Gratitude…

Today I am especially thankful for

  • Making it through Lent and for the first time feeling like I made a little spiritual progress.
  • The joy of Easter.
  • The giggles of the kids.
  • The deliciousness of chocolate.
  • Time with family.

 

Beauty in the Ordinary…

Bubbles on a spring day.

In the Kitchen…

M – Leftovers from Easter dinner.

T – Chicken Meatball and Tortellini Soup

W – Breakfast dinner – Pancakes

Th – Roasted chicken, brown rice and veggies

F – Leftovers

S – (Road trip to So Cal) Dinner at my mom and dad’s (woohoo!)

S – Dinner at my brother’s place. (Double woohoo!)

 

Praying…

  • For Brian’s chemo and continued recovery from cancer.
  • For all those who are fighting cancer and other illnesses.
  • For all the pregnant mamas as well as those who are suffering from infertility or miscarriage.
  • For those who entered into the Church this Easter.
  • For the renewed faith of cradle Catholics.
  • For those who are far from God and most in need of his mercy.
  • For some special intentions.

 

On the homefront……

On the 16th, Brian and I celebrated the anniversary of our first date/first meeting face to face. It feel like it was just yesterday and not 15 years ago! I still remember how nervous I was. We met online though AMSCOL and had been emailing and talking on the phone for 4 1/2 months and I was almost certain he was the man I was going to marry even though I hadn’t even laid eyes on him yet. My last reservations melted away once we were together. Everything clicked. I knew I would love him for the rest of my life.

Fast forward eight months from that first date and I was vowing before God to love Brian for better and for worse, in sickness and in health. Well, my chance to love him in sickness is here. I knew Brian wouldn’t be able to go on a real date for our anniversary so I planned a little after hours date and made a special dessert for us to share after the kids went to bed. However, Brian was feeling really tired and in a lot of pain from the chemo so he went to go take a nap after dinner. The first week after his first chemo treatment was tough for him but, in his words, this second cycle was 100x worse than the first. Brian didn’t just take a nap after dinner. He was out for the rest of the night. Like a mom with a newborn baby, a few times I checked on him to make sure he was still breathing since he has never slept that long. So I didn’t get to celebrate with him but at least he was alive and fighting for us.

I know many of you are praying for us – I can feel the grace keeping me upright. It’s hard at times. The following day Brian came home from work (he tries to put in a few hours each day in order to keep our insurance) and I could see how tired he was and that his whole body was aching. I told him to go to bed and get some rest and I had my father -in-law come over and babysit the kids so I could keep a dentist appointment that I had. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the fact that going to the dentist and getting my teeth cleaned was like having a mini spa day but I’ll take what I can get.

When I came home I made dinner. Brian ate a little then went back to bed. As I cleaned up the dishes and put in another load of laundry and got the kids ready for bed and wiped behinds I couldn’t help but feel resentful. Not of Brian, but of the cancer. It feel like it is stealing my husband and stealing our life together. I hate it. I hate seeing Brian like this. I hate feeling helpless. I hate feeling hateful. I hadn’t cried in awhile but that night I let the tears fall. It helped.

On Easter morning, there was joy in the Risen Lord but also pain that we are still carrying our cross. It was a weird sensation. But we are hanging in there. I’m hoping that this next week will ease up a bit for Brian and he can catch his breath. He is having a couple of “red flags” in his side effects so he has to talk to the doctor and check and make sure his dosage doesn’t need to be lowered. Next week Brian has an “off” week without chemo and we are praying that he feels better so he can join me and the kids for our road trip to see my family.

 

Pondering…

In that same train of thought, I know that the crosses we carry are meant to be our road to salvation. If we allow it, our crosses can draw us closer to God and bring us deeper into his love. So I keep thinking, what is God trying to teach me? How do I, as a wife, fight and hate this cancer yet embrace it as the cross I am to carry right now. I have a long way to go but I think it has already drawn me to a less superficial faith in God. I have to dig deep to trust in God. I have to go deeper in my prayer life. I can’t just rattle off a few prayers to check it off a list. I need to truly connect with God or I am a raving lunatic the whole day.

When I was a kid my mom used to love listening to John Michael Talbot, who now looks like Gandolf but still has a lovely voice. Since I’ve been married I have gotten in the habit of playing his music during Lent since it put me in a quiet and prayerful mood. On Good Friday I was listening to his album Come to the Quiet and his song Psalm 62 brought tears to my eyes. It is exactly what I am clinging to right now.

1 [For the choirmaster . . . Jeduthun Psalm Of David] In God alone there is rest for my soul, from him comes my safety;

2 he alone is my rock, my safety, my stronghold so that I stand unshaken.

3 How much longer will you set on a victim, all together, intent on murder, like a rampart already leaning over, a wall already damaged?

4 Trickery is their only plan, deception their only pleasure, with lies on their lips they pronounce a blessing, with a curse in their hearts.Pause

5 Rest in God alone, my soul! He is the source of my hope.

6 He alone is my rock, my safety, my stronghold, so that I stand unwavering.

7 In God is my safety and my glory, the rock of my strength. In God is my refuge;

8 trust in him, you people, at all times. Pour out your hearts to him, God is a refuge for us.

9 Ordinary people are a mere puff of wind, important people a delusion; set both on the scales together, and they are lighter than a puff of wind.

10 Put no trust in extortion, no empty hopes in robbery; however much wealth may multiply, do not set your heart on it.

11 Once God has spoken, twice have I heard this: Strength belongs to God,

12 to you, Lord, faithful love; and you repay everyone as their deeds deserve.

Source – Catholic.org

 

Around the house…

The Easter celebration aftermath that has yet to be cleaned up.

 

Reading…

The same as last time. I’m just about done with both.

The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours

Insurgent (Divergent Series)

 

Listening to…

We are on Easter break so I hear A LOT of boy chatter, laughter, yelling and fighting. There is a constant chorus of “No fighting boys” and “Hands to yourself” coming out of my mouth all day long.

 

Watching…

I miss The Walking Dead. Luckily, I forgot I had a rain check from Target sitting in my purse so I redeemed it and picked up the first season on blu ray for only $10. Score. Since we are on Easter break and Brian is in bed early I can stay up and catch up on some shows siting in my DVR forever including The Originals, Mindy Project, Trophy Wife and Revenge. (Revenge was losing me this season but if Emily gets back to her red sharpie I may not cut her off. ) πŸ˜‰

 

On the blog…

Tomorrow is our Pinterest Party and I’m still not sure what to post about… whole wheat baked chocolate donuts I baked or a new daily planner page I made and will share.

 

In the blogosphere…

Yesterday I meant to link up with Kendra (who is my current fave) for Answer Me This but I never got around to it (Easter and all, you know…) so I’ll answer her questions here instead.

1. What did you and your family wear to Mass on Easter Sunday?

I forgot to take full shots of Brian and myself so a head shot will have to do… picture this with a black skirt (Old Navy) and mary jane heels that were promptly kicked off the moment I got out of Mass. They are super cute but I loathe wearing anything but flats or converse. πŸ˜‰ I was actually going to wear a pink sweater but Brian requested this same bluish one (Macys) because it is his favorite.Β  Just when you think they never notice what you wear… πŸ™‚ The pearls used to belong to Brian’s grandma. Brian’s mom gave them to me and one day they will go to Bella. (She likes dressing up as much as I do but we do our duty. LOL.)

Bella was looking pretty in lavender (dress from Target) and the boys all wanted to wear blue. (Pull overs from H&M, plaid shirts form Carters and jeans from Target.)

I don’t know if it is the stereotypical laid back California attitude but we are casual dressers, even on formal occasions. Dressing up means pairing the boys’ jeans and converse with a plaid shirt and pullover. πŸ˜‰

2. Easter Bunny: thumbs up or thumbs down?

Thumbs up. Our Easter bunny comes while we are at Easter Mass. He hides plastic eggs in our house and the kids find them. If they find all their color coded eggs then they get their Easter basket. When they hunt for eggs at their Oma and Opa’s house they know they (not the Easter Bunny) hid them in their backyard.

3. Do you prefer to celebrate holidays at your own house or at someone else’s house?

I like when family comes over to my house for dinner on “ordinary” days. For the big holidays we keep the morning time for us. Opening presents or Easter baskets, having a mini breakfast feast and lounging the rest of the day. Then we head over to Brian’s family for Easter (or Christmas) dinner. I prefer it that way because the thought of cooking a big meal for everyone stresses me out. Thanksgiving, however, must be spent with my family in So Cal or I’ll cry. LOL.

4. What is your favorite kind of candy?

Oh, that’s a tough one…. it would be a tie between Resses peanut butter cups, snickers, almond joy and peanut M&M’s. Although these days I am trying to stick to dark chocolate covered almonds. when I need a chocolate fix. Both are “health foods,” you know. πŸ˜‰

5. Do you like video games?

Um…no. Yesterday I downloaded Angry Birds Go the go cart game for the kids and I tried to play it. How come I know how to drive yet I can’t steer a stupid iphone video game?? After crashing four times in a row Andrew picked it up and won on his first try. I give up.

6. Do you speak another language?

I wish I could say Spanish but I only know phrases like “more cheese on my tacos, please” so I don’t think that counts. It’s tough when other Mexican people come up to me and ask me for help in Spanish and I have to tell them I don’t speak Spanish. I’m like an Oreo cookie – dark on the outside but white on the inside. πŸ˜‰ I’ll have to add “learn more Spanish” on my bucket list.

 

Pinned…

I haven’t had time for Pinterest lately but I did pin these two.

Source

Catholic All Year: Baby Steps to Living the Liturgical Year as a Family

Source

Tuscan Kale Salad from A Mama Collective

 

 

Plans for the Week…

Source – My sis JC

If all goes well, we will be leaving this week for So Cal for a going away party for my brother -in-law Mick who is being deployed to Afghanistan, a college graduation party for my brother Rob and then heading to Disneyland for a few days. πŸ™‚ If Brian is well, he’ll come with us and then take it easy at my parent’s house or the hotel if he’s not up to DL. If he stays home he can rest in peace and quiet without all of us noisemakers in the house. Either way, I need this trip so I can get a little familia recharge. Nothing like a hug from mom and dad and laughter from my siblings to make me feel energized again. πŸ˜‰

 

Captured…

Since I had Psalm 62 on my mind…

Okay, it seems like it took me days to finally finish this Daybook so I’m linking it up at all my favorite spots…

Kendra’s Answer Me This

Jenny at The Littlest Way

A Mama Collective’s Currently

Have a great day/evening. πŸ™‚

UPDATE: Brian just got home and he looks a lot better than he did last night. He said he had a bit more energy today and was able to work 6 hours so I’m praying he is on the upswing again. Thanks for keeping us in prayer! xoxo

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram. πŸ˜‰


Moments of Grace Daybook & Currently (3/30/14): Brian Update, Trusting God, Odds & Ends

I’m linking up my Daybook with Jenny atΒ  Plain Grace and with A Mama Collective.com. Go check them out!

AND


 

Moments of Gratitude…

Today I am especially thankful for

  • Gorgeous weekend weather
  • The sounds of giggles.
  • At home date night with Brian.
  • Confession and prayer time alone.
  • Phone calls from my mom.

 

Beauty in the Ordinary…

The color of Lent is blooming everywhere.

 

In the Kitchen…

M – Chicken Quesadillas with Salad

T – Chili Beans & Cornbread

W – Turkey Burgers andΒ  Broccoli Slaw

Th – Leftovers

F – Cauliflower Lentil Taco Salad (This is a new recipe. If it comes out okay, I’ll post it on the next Pinterest Party. If doesn’t turn out, I have tuna as a back up.) ;-))

S – Homemade Veggie Pizza & Greek Salad

S – Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken with brown rice and roasted asparagus. (Another new recipe. I’ll let you know how it goes.)

 

Praying…

  • For Brian’s chemo and continued recovery from cancer.
  • For all those who are fighting cancer and other illnesses.
  • For the women participating in the Restore Workshop, especially those with heavy crosses.
  • For myself, that I never take for granted all the blessings in my life and that I always turn to God first when the going gets tough.
  • For those who are far from God and most in need of his mercy.
  • For some special intentions.

 

At the Cancer Center.

On the homefront……

Since many have been asking how Brian is doing, here’s an update.

[For those of you who are new here, this is some background info. In Dec of 2012 Brian found out that he had colon cancer. He went through surgery and had the cancer removed. A year later he went to his routine testing and found that the cancer returned and spread to 1 1/4 of his lymph nodes. In January 2014, Brian went through surgery again to remove the colon cancer. In February, Brian had a port surgically placed in his chest in prep for chemo. This Monday (3/24/14), Brian started chemo to remove the cancer in his lymph nodes. His schedule is to go in for chemo on Monday then for two weeks he take chemo pills. The third week he has off with no meds. The following Monday he started the cycle all over again. He will do this for six rounds of chemo. He should be done with everything in mid-July.]

The first week of chemo was tough. Brian is still getting used to the side effects and illness. Each person is different but common side effects for the type of chemo he is getting is nausea, numbness in the hands and feet (they have to keep a close eye on that side effect since damage can be long lasting), aversion to cold (for a few days after his port chemo) he can’t eat, drink or touch anything cold and general pain and achiness all over.

On Friday I was really getting worried about him. He was not only hurting but seemed so down. I felt helpless and wished I could take away his pain. He went into work for a few hours and I took a few minutes to say my morning prayer. My thoughts were full of Brian when I opened up my laptop to read the Restore prayer prompts. The thought for the day was timely. It said:

“Jesus did not come to explain away suffering or to remove it. He came to fill it with his presence.” –Paul Claudel

I prayed for Brian that he would be given strength to endure the months ahead. If I can’t take away his pain, I can at least pray for him to get through it. Afterwards I read the “Act” of the day. It said:

“Can you think of a cross your husband is carrying? Even some small chore that is usually his? Carry it with him today. Smile and wink at him, too.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. Who said God doesn’t have a sense of humor. But it did give me an idea of how I could help Brian. I did what I could to make the home a little more comfortable for him. Things like – clearing off his desk area of the piles of folded clothes and Star Wars toys that landed there, wipe down his bathroom (a job he usually did), I made his favorite veggies to go with dinner and took care of his one cleaning pet peeve (an unvacuumed family room.) When he got home I kept the kids quiet (relatively speaking) so he could lay down and rest. It made me feel better just to do something.

On Saturday morning, I woke up and heard the kids talking to Brian in the family room. He let me sleep in as long as I wanted. (Even with cancer, he rocks.) Thankfully, he was feeling a little better and not hurting as much. His doctor said his body would develop a pattern and as time goes by he will know which days will be easier and which days will be tougher and he can adjust his schedule/activities accordingly. I took advantage of his feeling better and rented a movie he wanted to see that night and made a special dessert. (Baked whole wheat chocolate donuts. I’ll post that recipe too!) We had our own date night after the kids went to sleep. (That was part of my “wink”. ;-)) It was great…a little breathe of fresh air after a rough week. So yeah, we are hanging in there and appreciate all your prayers!

 

Around the house…

Legos, Star Wars toys, Legos, Thomas the Train engines, Legos, Disney Cars characters, and did I mention Legos?

 

Reading…

The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours

Insurgent (Divergent Series)

 

Listening to…

I heard this song on the radio the other day and it really touched me. When I went to download it on iTunes I was surprised to find out that the artist was Shane Harper who played Spencer on “Good Luck, Charlie.” I don’t know if his new movie God Is Not Dead is any good but I do know I love the song from it. πŸ˜‰

Here are the lyrics.

“Hold You Up”

When it’s coming apart, you had it all.
It wasn’t enough. No, it’s not enough.
They tell you it’s not worth the price, so just let it go.
But you know you can’t. You know you won’t.

It’s not easy, no.
Finding the words to say.
When you’re feeling lost, you’ll find your way.

The world is so broken and sometimes it leaves you cold.
At nighttimes you can’t feel the fire to guide you home.
The demons will harm you and try to steal what you know.
But the angels, they brought you, and they’re gonna hold you up.
They’re gonna hold you up.

They see the fear in your eyes, heart sinks like a stone.
‘Cause when you’re afraid, it weighs on your soul.

It’s not easy, no.
Finding the words to say.
When you’re feeling lost, you’ll find your way.

The world is so broken and sometimes it leaves you cold.
At nighttimes you can’t feel the fire to guide you home.
The demons will harm you and try to steal what you know.
But the angels, they brought you, and they’re gonna hold you up.
They’re gonna hold you up.
They’re gonna hold you up.
They’re gonna hold you up.

It’s not easy, no.
Finding the words to say.
When you’re feeling lost, you’ll find your way.

The world is so broken and sometimes it leaves you cold.
At nighttimes you can’t feel the fire to guide you home.
The demons will harm you and try to steal what you know.
But the angels, they brought you, and they’re gonna hold you up.
They’re gonna hold you up.
They’re gonna hold you up.
They’re gonna hold you up.

When the timing is right, somehow you’ll know.
When nobody stands, stand on your own.

 

Thinking about…

I love the lyric “The demons will harm you and try to steal what you know. But the angels, they brought you, and they’re gonna hold you up.”

When I am feeling overwhelmed and am stressing out I am tempted to lose it. I can give into my weakness and the negativity in my head and allow the demons to steal what I know – that God is with me. That he is strongest when I am weakest and He can accomplish amazing things. If I am docile in the hands of God and surrender to him in the little things, as well as the big things, He will hold me up and carry me through. That is especially timely these days. πŸ˜‰

 

Watching…

Saturday we watched the season finale of When Calls the Heart (Aw!) and last night we watched the season finale of The Walking Dead (Ack!). I recorded the premiere of Season 3 of Call the Midwife for later this week along with The Blacklist, Father Brown, Grimm, some Hitchcock movies and some old episodes of Veronica Mars.

 

On the blog…

I have a number of posts in my Draft folder but I’m not sure how much free time I’ll have this week!

 

Posts I’ve Liked on my Bloglovin

 

Pinned…

Source

 

Plans for the Week…

Bella sitting next to me in the car, showing me her painted polka dot nails. πŸ™‚

The usual, although is Brian is feeling okay on Saturday, Bella and I are scheduled for a mom and daughter date to the movies. (Even if it means having to sit through a Muppets movie.) Honestly, my favorite time is when we are driving in the car to and from. I ask her questions about her life and she opens up and shares things with me. I think the simple act of sitting side by side but not facing each other helps her to open up to me more.

 

Captured…

I love how after a rain the sky is a gorgeous blue with big puffy clouds. Here’s the view from our deck yesterday with today’s scripture of the day in the Restore Workshop.

 

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram. πŸ˜‰