Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Illegal Parking As It Relates to Red Ripe Strawberries

Cal loves this book:

And so does his mom...and tonight, as I was backing out of our driveway, it was this book that came to mind. The following is my interpretation of the events that ensued while backing out of our very steep, very dark circa 1925 driveway this evening, as told in the prose of Don and Audrey Wood.

Well, hello little driver of the weak dented Honda, what are you doing?

But driver of a weak dented Honda, haven't you heard about the big, hungry Nissan Xterra? It can smell a Pitch Black Honda from a mile away. Especially one that has just parked in front of its driveway!

VROOM VROOM VROOM... the Nissan Xterra will squeal its way down its steep, dark driveway and CRUNCH CRASH CRACK the weak dented Honda into a million tiny pieces. 

It doesn't matter who you are, or where you are hiding.

Quick! There is only one way in the whole wide world to stop the hungry Nissan Xterra from crunching the dented black Honda. 

Turn on your headlights, maybe even flash those brights a time or two. Open your eyes to see that you parked in front of the hungry Nissan Xterra's driveway and MOVE YO' CAR, Dumbass.*

*Some literary liberties taken

Seriously, who parks in front of a driveway? Get. a. clue.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Musings on 29 & 30 Before 30

A few days back I ventured into the land of the 29s...which gives me approximately 365 more days to complete the following 30 Before 30 list. 
One of my favorite people in the world inspired this idea (although I now realize her idea is exceedingly unfair, as she has almost an entire additional year to complete her 30...tisk tisk). However, as she proposed the idea, I jumped on it. Bucket lists are amazing, but what motivates action is deadlines, that loom, like in 365 days. they are. All 30 of my (hopefully) attainable conquests pre-third decade celebrations. I'll keep you posted!
  1. Have/acquire* a second baby
  2. Fulfilling employment for my husband
  3. Finish Cal's baby book-- sad, huh? He's almost 2. 
  4. Blog consistently for a month+
  5. Snowshoe
  6. Indoor Skydive
  7. Learn to sew
  8. Play at least 5 children's songs on my guitar
  9. Eat at 5 new local restaurants
  10. Paint the downstairs bathroom with the paint that has been there for 1 year+...procrastination is my middle name
  11. Make a headboard for our bed--not cut down a tree make, but more than just hot glue-gun make
  12. Take a photography class
  13. Paint our bedroom and decorate it..with stuff on the wall...and that stuff cannot be circa my college apartment
  14. Organize our office...UGH, but it needs to be done
  15. Visit both coasts via LA and Manhattan or go on a cruise....b/c let's be honest, they weren't all going to happen in the next year
  16. Eat breakfast at Waffle House and Breakfast King
  17. Go to Rome (may be a bit past the 30 deadline)
  18. Run a 5K in under 27 minutes
  19. Get something published...even if I have to do it myself via plastic bindings at my elem. school;)
  20. Climb a 14er
  21. Write a GOOD Catholic children's book
  22. Speak some conversational Spanish
  23. Volunteer at a shelter/soup kitchen 
  24. Create a crafty recipe organizer and use it
  25. Have a professional family photo shoot
  26. Take a dance class
  27. Take a mom/toddler swim class
  28. Read 5 classic novels
  29. Read 1 book by Fulton Sheen
  30. Return every text message within 1 hour of receipt for at least 21 days (the length of time it takes to create a habit)
* Anyone have a baby?? Kidding...but we have certainly not ruled out the idea of adoption. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Flashback Fridays: Fraggle Up!

Jim Henson is a genius. I still have no idea what this show is or is about, but I do know that I loved it.

Dance your cares away...worries for another day....let the music play.

Down in Fraggle Rock.

Monday, October 24, 2011

On Communion...and Humping

Toddlers are sponges; soaking up anything and everything- up right down to my coffee this morning...oops. (Starbucks, you're welcome for the early brand conversion.)

So, I shouldn't have been surprised the other day, when I picked up Cal from hanging out with my aunt, and was told that he was offering the entire patio Holy Communion (Frosted Mini-wheat style). "Body of Christ... Body of Christ." Body of Christ with more than 47g of whole grains per serving. 

We have never played Mass, nor have we talked about receiving the Eucharist outside of Mass in any great detail. Cal simply heard it, learned it, and applied mini-wheats. Good man. 

Begin the other night, as my young zealot and I were playing outside with a friend's dog. Cal bent down, pulled up a few blades of grass, and offered Puppy Colby a little macrobiotic "Body of Christ." Gweneth would have been so proud. 

Now, I am not qualified to critique one's ability to transubstantiate- but my kid must have given that dog some dang good "Body of Christ," because after Colby's horticultural communion, he was a changed puppy. He took one bite, and was, well, inspired

As I looked up from my picnic-table seat, giggling at the preceding doggy liturgy, I realized that my son was under the very forceful control of a very. excited. dog. Yes, dear Colby tried to have his neutered way with my innocent 20-month-old-wannabe-cleric. All the while, Cal was now screaming, "Booodddyyy of Chhhrrriiisttt, Boooodddyyyyy of Chhhrrisssttt, puuupppy!!" Seventy times seven- he's an inspiration.  

Luckily, I was able to swiftly extricate the young minister-to-man's-best-friend, and he walked away slightly disheveled, but seemingly unscathed. 

Who knows what sort of issues this will drum up in his mid-thirties...nothing a little Starbucks and some "Body of Christ" can't cure, I'm sure.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


On October 18, 2008 this happened:
 Yet, the story started long before. It started here:

Oh yeah, God. is. Good.
Did I mention it started here?

Uh did. In Rome, the Eternal City, where I left my heart and... subsequently found it. I would give it to this guy:

And he would give his to her:

It began with a simple question:
Need I say more?

In the words of God, "It was Good." I am blessed...beyond measure.

And blessed too, is the world, I suppose, because of all we offer it as Laniers (among those blessings, humility). A little montage of our offerings:

Thank You, thank You, thank You...and you're welcome. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Babies...and His Crazy Plan

This picture was taken the day we found out we were pregnant with Cal. We were on our way down  to Colorado Springs- and it was right after I had told my husband that with all the headaches and nausea I was experiencing, I probably had a brain tumor (neurotic, much?). So, we did what any normal tumor-fearing couple would do, we pulled off the highway, marched into the local Safeway, and took a pregnancy test in the women's bathroom (E waited outside). Needless to say, it was positive- we were a little shocked, but very excited.

Yesterday, in talking with some girlfriends, we took up the idea of infertility and how it relates to God's plan. I have spent weeks mulling this over in prayer (and on long car rides) and have come to the conclusion: I sure don't get it. How can beautiful, faithful, and holy couples struggle with conceiving when so many people seem to just pop babies out like it ain't no thang? In the words of Adam Sandler's Cajun Man, "Confusiooonnnn." 

The conversation was a tad ironic, as E and I have been trying to add to the brood, Lanier. Which in essence, should be easy, right...and even a bit fun? I mean, it worked the first time, without even trying...but it seems like ease is in the eye of the beholder and we are still in the try, try, again phase.

Yet, I am ever-reminded, every time I look at this perfect face...

...that I am SOOOO blessed. Beyond blessed, and if he is my greatest (and only) blessing of offspring from our Lord then I would be truly happy and content. And I would be...I am. But, hey, we did great work. Shouldn't we grace the world with more Laniers?

In our struggle and in the struggle of so many others, I am reminded of the faith so many patriarchal biblical figures who waited years, decades, for the blessing of children. Why? Because kids were it. The most sought after blessing of all the blessings....the Tickle-Me-Elmo of the B.C. era. It was a big deal, your line, the whole familial lineage rested on their shoulders. Well, until Jesus. 
And enter: Jesus.  Supreme evidence that God had and has a may take years upon years, centuries of mistakes and missteps, but His is a rockin' good plan- for us

When we have asked couples about their infertility, they have all noted how significantly it has strengthened their marriages- how they would not be where they are today within their faiths and lives without it. Profound? Yeah...and it stinks of God. His plan...His plan...

I cannot say that we would have tried for Cal as soon as he arrived or that we would have been as open to life had God not just dropped him in-utero- surprise! Cal was God's Divine Plan to better me, us, through His blessings...and now, as I long for morning sickness (seriously!?), I know that God's hand is in this too. It just has to be, because it seems like God has His Divine hands in a little bit of everything. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Flashback Fridays

Nothing like a Friday to boost a mood...and nothing like busting out a little old school to ring it in right.

Although, life has changed a bit-

It's Friday, and I'm ready to sleep...pick up a B-movie at the Red Box scene.'s alright. 
So get up and let this mommy mellow...get her to the couch...
Cause you know it's alright. 

Oh, Aaliyah, I still can't spell your name but your music lives on...

What's your favorite Friday song?

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Ides of March and the First Ammendment

Tonight I saw this:
It was certainly thought provoking...

With a title like The Ides of March one can't help but think of this:
Ah, yes, a little Shakespeare never hurt anyone...well, unless your name is Julius Ceasar.

In the movie (spoiler alert), one of the characters chooses to abort a pregnancy which results in her own suicide. Granted, there are other forces in play here, but in essence, death begets death. Fitting, in keeping with the Shakespearean theme.

Yet, I was shaken not so much by the death portrayed within the movie, but by the impetus.  We all remember Mark Anthony addressing the crowds post Caesar's fatal demise with his famed, "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me you ears..." A speech designed to sway the crowds' allegiance and convince them that no wrong hath been committed in the Senate that ill-fated day.  So too, do we see several instances of these persuasions within The Ides of March, and as in all good fictional portrayals, truth is deeply laced within the fabric of the plot.

In light of that truth, I cannot help but draw the comparison to what is currently taking place in our own "senate"- where our own leaders are proclaiming to us, "Friends, citizens, Americans...the gift of "preventative" healthcare for women is here for all." It is infuriating.

It is not the mandatory coverage of abortive contraceptives or abortions themselves that infuriates me (although this, in and of itself, is blatantly wrong). It is the universal mandating that such procedures need to be covered by inherently opposed institutions, namely, Catholic and other pro-life organizations. This is egregious and in direct contrast with the basic tenants of this country.

Archbishop Charles Chaput says it best,
“Freedom of religion cannot coexist with freedom from religion. Forcing religious faith out of a nation’s public square and out of a country’s public debates does not serve democracy. It doesn’t serve real tolerance or pluralism. What it does do is impose a kind of unofficial state atheism. To put it another way, if we ban Christian Churches or other religious communities from taking an active role in our nation’s civic life, we’re really just enforcing a new kind of state-sponsored intolerance—a religion without God.”

In other words, we fight not for who is dogmatically correct, but for unadulterated religious freedom in the public square; so that all men and women will be able to exercise their professed faiths without fear of legislation that will mandate their engaging in something that goes against the very core of their belief systems. All this lest we not create a new dominating belief system- "state-sponsored intolerance." 

I understand that this proposed legislation has established provisions that allow certain religious exemptions, but they are far narrower than alleged, and exclude any organization that serves those outside of the faith. For instance, thousands of Catholic hospitals are going to be mandated to offer abortive and sterilization services because they serve more than just the Catholic population. These are the same institutions founded on universal healthcare so that ALL people, regardless of their belief system, would have access to quality health intervention. Or, Catholic Charities, serving hundreds of thousands of our country's most "in-need," regardless of their religious affiliation, who will now be forced to wrestle with providing their employees with healthcare where premiums are partly funding sterilization, contraceptives, and abortion? 

It is simply not right...

Let's look at it another way-- let's say the government mandates meals at their new super-posh restaurant aptly named, Offending the First (specializing in pulled pork, pork tenderloin, and baby back ribs). Let's also say that around 23.9% of the population keeps a strict Kosher diet. That means nearly 24% percent of Americans would be mandated to partake in something that goes against everything in which they believe. Do they have to order pork? No- they can certainly get a salad, BUT they do have to immerse themselves in an extremely offensive environment, coupled with the not-so-insignificant fact that they would be required to pay for other people to partake in something inherently against what they believe to be truth. Would the public not be up in arms?? 

Again, Archbishop Charles Chaput,“[Americans] were founded as a religious people, but with public institutions that avoid religious tests.  American public life depends for its life on Jews and Protestants and Latter Day Saints and Catholics and all religious believers vigorously advancing their convictions in public debate. We need to do that peacefully and respectfully, but we need to do it -- without evasions or apologies or alibis. Otherwise we’re stealing the most precious things we have – our religious faith and our moral character – from the struggle for the common good. And the God who loves us will nonetheless hold us accountable for that cowardice.” 

Regardless of your stance on sterilization, contraception, or abortion, we all need to recognize that this is a horrendous manipulation of our First Amendment rights. We need to take a stand... it's certainly a slippery slope.

Beware...beware the ides of March.

Friday, July 8, 2011


It is amazing how intangible our God can seem when we choose for Him to remain at arm's length...yet, even more amazing how tangibly He makes Himself known to us. Not only in the breaking of the bread, but in those small, quiet moments the heart only knows.

Last night I cried. Tears of joy...not sadness. Tears that said with each drop, "How do I not love You more, know You more?" As each drop ran down my face, I could not help but understand, even for just a second, the infinite nature of His Love. His Heart knows no bounds, and neither do ours, if we let them.

In faced with choosing God, trusting His Divine plan...I tend to lean a little bit on the skeptical side. Do not get me wrong, I love our God immensely, but I also seem to love fear, anxiety, and doubt. And although I know He is so Good, my vice is so much more tangible, so much more real...and yet He knows. He sees right through me...He knows that this is the exact moment, He created this exact moment, in which tears will well in my eyes. Uncontrollable tears letting me know that He is near, He is Good, and He is all I need...I am not worthy, but into His plan go I.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A penny saved...

Now, I am not one to brag...but am one for crazy-ass reality TV shows about people using little pieces of paper to buy food. So, after watching the following...

I took to the newspapers, and cut me some brightly colored "paper money." I am not going to say that it was the most fun I have ever had, nor will I say I feel like this is my new hobby. However, the results were pretty dang good.

After sitting down with our local ads, making a list, matching-up my coupons to sale items...we were in the car. We went to Kings, Albertson's, and Safeway...which was A LOT. However, the pay-off was great. Our winnings:

Total for groceries: $147.56
I paid: $43.13       Savings: 69%
Best Deal: 6 boxes of name brand cereal for $!

Here is what I learned:
  1. Couponing is great...but I wouldn't do it for every grocery run. 
    • It is time consuming and you feel a little crazy. I am planning on doing it once or twice a month for a big haul of things we always use. 
  2. You can still eat fresh and organically
    • We eat a lot of fresh fruits/veggies and do our best to eat as organically as possible. That said, Pop Tarts (although tasty) are not always high on my list. So I wondered, can you still coupon for organic products? Answer: Yes. Here is the best site I found with printable coupons for organics:
  3. Planning is key
    • Take the time to really sit down and survey what you need, where to get it, and who has the best deals. I did find that all three of the above doubled coupons up to a $1 coupons less than a dollar were doubled up to a $1 off discount. Bonus. 
  4. Only buy what you need.
    • I do not have a why would ANYONE buy cat litter if they do not have a cat? Even if it is free. Seriously...who needs 450 tubes of toothpaste. Give it to a food bank, folks.
For my next trick, an all-natural/all organic couponing run...

And we're back...and better than ever.

So, it has been a while since I posted. Here is what we've been up to:

We did some hiking...
 And painting...

Worked in the yard...

Played some mad crazy hockey...and won. A lot.
 Jesus rose from the dead...woot.
We celebrated with ham and ears.
Graduated with my Masters from CU...

 Hung out with one of my main men.

And that pretty much sums it's to May and the start of summer play!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

His hand in mine...

I could not help but feel a bit overwhelmed. Rocking back and forth, my little man in my lap, in the chair that used to sway him into deep slumber. We were quiet, stationary. The way it was not too long ago. The way it was until he was able to experience the world on his own two feet (or two hands, two knees, as his mode of transportation is still, shall we say, a choice that depends on whether or not he has footwear that has good traction)

My, how times have changed. Now, just keeping an eye on him is difficult, let alone keeping him in one place. So, tonight, he waited as I slowly pushed our plush green rocker back and forth...back and forth...while he silently and patiently allowed me to hold him. I recognized quickly, this was a gift.

Every few seconds his eyes looked up to greet mine, as if they were checking in, making sure I was still locked in. When am I not? It is amazing that nearly 14 months ago I had dreamed of these little eyes, his precocious grin, his button nose...but I had no concept of who my son would be. And now I know, and he is my everything.

In a class today, a friend shared this thought: Mary's Fiat...she did not say, "What is Your Will, Lord? Let me know, and I will go do it." No, she said, "I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me, according to thy word."

Done...done unto me. That's it? That's it.

Calan is, in my very humble and completely unbiased opinion, perfect. I could not have dreamed up a more perfect child. Yet, that is just it. I didn't...He did. It was done, unto me. And the rest, well, it's history.

I need to constantly remind myself that God does... unto us. He requires little, really. Our love and our children. It all makes such sense.

As we sat and swayed, a little hand was raised, open palm. An invitation. My hand slowly encapsulated the nearly 14-month-old fingers it met. And there we sat, his hand resting in mine, purely loving, purely trusting. I took a deep breath. Be it done unto me.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

She is my Bill Simmons

My husband, periodically, okay hourly, reads me some sort of uproariously funny quip or anecdote from Bill Simmon's blog, Twitter, latest article, etc. This sports journalistic obsession equates to a serious and reputably, large, man crush. About which, I am fine...really. To love another sports writer is to see the face of God, right?  I may not be as intrinsically amusing as his sports writer hero, but I can hold my own when stepping up to the humor plate. It may not always be a home-run, but I'd like to think I have a fairly high batting average.

That said, as much as I enjoy these daily weekly hourly privies into Bill Simmon's mind, I have long awaited my own piece of internet writing genius, the likes of which I can forward to him and say, "Seriously? Did you read My Bill Simmons' latest? I cried." I have longed to hear the sound of my laughter reverberating from my laptop corner of our L-shaped couch, my husband's inquisitive eyes glancing my way as if to say, "What's so funny?" Ahhhh...I reply. Just something My Bill Simmons wrote...he/she's too much.

Yes, I have longed for a writer whose contents not only relate to my passions (as reading some chestnut of current sporting satire that only those who live and breathe sports would understand, is not at the top of my "Things That Make My World Go Round List" list). Yet, I don't only want to relate to content, but dammit, I want to laugh. I want to find a writer that not only informs my conscience, but does so... irreverently? Now, this may seem like a tall order, and I recognize that. But, nothing is impossible with God...and He totally took my plight to heart (as I am sure He wasn't too locked into other crises or disasters. Yes, He willed me to discover my very own Bill Simmons). Well, perhaps, a more pertinent descriptor: God helps those who help themselves. And help myself I did. To seconds.

Hello....Simcha Fischer: She is My Bill Simmons. I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats. I may just be one of the later additions to the Simcha family, but gosh, I am so glad I invited myself. Seriously, read it...and share with me a quiet laugh and your own husband's inquisitive glance.

Simcha contributes to Inside Catholic and Faith & Family Live!, and blogs at I Have to Sit Down.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


"We all suffer for each other, and gain by each other's suffering; for man never stands alone here, though he will stand alone hereafter; but here is he is a social being, and goes forward to his long home as one of a large company."
~Cardinal Newman
It's Lent...and this season humbles me all too well. Every year I am amazed by the holy sacrifice I see occurring in the world, be it known or unknown.

By nature, I am a selfish being. Tried and true...a sinner. So, how is it then that my Lord serves and blesses me so well? How is it then that I awaken to sheer joy? Awaken to such plentiful is it then that the bomb hasn't dropped?

Currently, I am sitting next to Calan as he sits in his highchair. And as the snot runs downs his nose, and the broccoli "drops" from his tray to the floor, tray to the floor, seriously? Again? Tray to the much as it makes me smile, I find myself in a state of frustration...just a bit.

I am waiting for my husband, as he patiently rakes all the sticks and prickly things that winter has left in our backyard, so that they cannot attack little hands. He will soon join us back inside, to help clean broccoli off floors and wipe stuffy noses. He serves.

The past few weekends, I have been busily trying to finish a very large project that will culminate my graduate's make or break. And my husband, every free weekend day, has served our family by letting me go and work: 10, 12, 14 hours...while Calan cries, and coughs, and wipes his little nose on the third shirt he has donned in that day. While broccoli gets dropped on floors, and leaves need raking,  he does it alone. Without my help. All to let me, perfect me. He has endured my cranky quips and jabs, and has talked me off more than one or two stressful ledges. 

Now, this is not extraordinary, in fact, I am sure that the thought has arisen, "Well yeah, you need to work...he should watch the need to go do that." It's true, and I would agree. This is all part of the grand marital deal, and he signed the contract. So, it is not so much his actions that inspire, but his intent. His service is out of love, not of obligation. This is what blows me away...

I am the first to admit that I often, very often, act out of obligation. And this is not a terrible thing...but is something, I know, could be purified. As said, I am a selfish being, and my service does not always serve others as well as it could. I am often focused on myself, and then, others. 

However, Lent, in all its penitential glory, reminds me consistently of Christ, crucified. Service that goes beyond, far beyond, oneself. Focusing solely upon the other. True service, Holy Sacrifice.
My call.

And it is with a Lenten lens that I view my husband. A tangible manifestation of God's Grace. It is through his humble service that I am reminded to look to the cross. Reminded that holiness comes from service, not obligation. It is through his heart, his gift of self- to me, to Cal -that I can truly prefect me. I am humbled. And grateful. 

So, it is Lent...and I am blessed. Blessed by the suffering of one to benefit us all, teaching service and surrender.  Blessed by the suffering of One to benefit us all, crying out "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mission: Impossible

I am not your typical Type A. Yes, I have a specific way I like to do things, and yes, I believe that I can do these things better myself (rather than outsource). But perfection is not something I need all the time. In fact, rarely. Perfection is only a necessity for me when it hinges on one thing...others.

I have found this realization to be seriously problematic as one: perfection does not exist. Can't be reached. Impossible. And two: perfection directed outwards is not a healthy pursuit.

There is an Egyptian proverb that says a beautiful thing is never perfect. Hmmm.

This past week we had an influx of visitors from 'The District.' It was wonderful to have so much life and energy swirling around our wild home. The joy they brought to us was simply immeasurable.

However, in preparing for this East Coast visit, I became a tornado. Full-on F5. crazy...whirling about our house...leaving many victims in my wake. My goal, perfection. The house needed to be spotless, the rooms welcoming, the meals planned, and everything executed with extraordinary precision. This desire was pure in origin, as I truly did want to serve our guests in the best way possible, yet, in execution, it became the likes of my Brita faucet filter, red light blinking, telling me my water may be over-calcified. Impure.

The need to make things perfect, to display perfection, overtook my intention of service. And therein lies the difference between entertaining and hospitality. A subtlety that I have not even thought to discern.

Entertaining seeks to display all that we have, our creativity, our beauty, and our abilities. But, in essence, it becomes the "me show." (Yes, I did sew those curtains by hand, and of course that truffle bisque with a white-wine reduction is my own recipe. Oh, that old thing? I had the cashmere flown in from Pakistan and wove each section in my heart and with my loom... all while holding five jobs, not sleeping, and training for the Iron Man.) Yes, entertaining can become somewhat beastly...although, if I really did all of the above I cannot say that I wouldn't have it tattooed on my a**.

In contrast, hospitality seeks to take every blessing that we have been given by our Maker, and share it with our brothers and sisters. It seeks not perfection, but people. It seeks not admiration, but relationship. Hospitality is a welcome gift...for those who choose to welcome it.

So, as my tornado raged, so too did my God. Lovingly, He gazed upon my violent whirling and recognized that I was only blowing smoke.

In my efforts to have the sheets perfectly cleaned and ready-to-be-slept-in, He made them not fit the air mattress they had fit for a year. Entertaining fail. In my attempts to have every meal planned to perfection (including wine pairings), He allowed a late-lunch to turn into a lack of hunger, followed by a panic as the left-overs were not going to feed the masses. Entertaining fail. In my desire to have all our activities planned, He discarded my schedule, so much so that one whole day was spent losing all the pre-planned meals in the toilet, oh yeah, and following Cal with a bucket and a towel to catch his meals, too. Entertaining FAIL. Yet, as a benevolent and gracious God, it was never more than I could handle...humbling, inexact, angering, yes. But never too much.

And in my most humbling of entertaining "triumphs," as I laid on the bathroom floor with Cal crawling on me, demanding, "Maamama MORE! Mamama UP!" I decided to surrender. For this was God's day, God's week, God's plan...and I, am simply a player. I should have recognized that submitting my "plans" to His refining may just lead to less of me and more of Him. Which lends itself to a much better party.
And with that, I open my heart and my home to the hospitality of our God and remember:

"When hospitality becomes an art, it loses its very soul."
~Max Beerbohm

***Thank you to our wonderful guests, who not only filled our home with an abundance of love and laughter, but taught me more about opening our doors than I could have ever imagined.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Momenergy (n.)- mother's (mom) energy, the creation of something out of nothing/sheer exhaustion, a feeling of accomplishment despite the fact that you have not showered in 2 days, incredible ability to "do" in light of the desire to "do not"

I have been known to found my own word every now and then. In fact (and why I am sharing this on the 'interwebs' is unbeknownst to me) but in middle school, I decided that I was going to create a new word for "cool" because, clearly, I was. The word I chose? "Mighty." And mighty it was- a mighty quick way to become uncool. What a fad!

Since then, I have taken care in choosing words to originate...making sure they have a profound purpose and use. Such as Lanierian (see definition on right) or, in the case of today, "momenergy."

As my basement bathroom stares at me ominously, saying with its staunch glare, "Yo, lazy, that green paint ain't going to grace my walls by itself!" I feel myself in need of hearkening some momenergy, stat. Yes, the bathroom needs painting, the laundry needs doing, the house needs tidying, my legs need running, and here I sit, in my momenergy uniform (tee-shirt and sweats, all black, in order to hide any mom-leftovers), blogging.

You see, the secret to momenergy is you have to harness it. And the beauty of momenergy is that it comes with the gig. All moms have it, use it, and do great things with it! We just have to get up and go...which sometimes poses a big problem, especially in light of my whole couch/momenergy uniform situation. We are tired, overwhelmed, crazed, and, well, hungry...yet somehow, inspite of ourselves, we get the job done.

Momenergy...or as others may like to call it, grace.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Snow, baby, snow!

This past week we had the luxury of heading up the ski and play! Here are some snow fun!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Room with a View...

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 This is what I see as I look out the window while writing this post...not too shabby. Skis, sun, and slopes equal a great way to begin a Tuesday morning. 

Yesterday, while riding the lift, my white and blue skis clanking ever so slightly, I was struck- I am so blessed. My beautiful baby boy is on a snow walk with Grammy around the base, my amazing husband to my right and my incredible father-in-law to my left laughing and regaling each other with stories of the first time Eric skied, and nothing but the big blue Colorado sky and a snow-packed ready-to-be-rocked mountain lay before us. How did I get here??

About once a week a rendidtion of Once in a Lifetime by the Talking Heads is belted from some lost crevasse in our house..."And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife...and you may ask yourself, how did I get here?"  I do ask that question, I do.

How is it that I, a sinner, so imperfect, and in need of so much refinement can sit here, in this mountain condo, waiting for the steaks to marinade and Cal to wake up? How did I get here? 

Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more. 
I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! 
 ~Luke 12:48-49

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mama pajama, rolled out of bed...and she ran to her Vo-cation

I'm on my way...I don' know where I'm goingggg...but I'm on my way! Taking my time, but I don' know where...

As I sit here, all Mama Pajama-ed out (glad I didn't have to run to to any po-lice stations), I can't help but think: What does excellence in vocation look like?

From Simon and Garfunkel, to philosophical musings...I know, it must be Tuesday.

Recently, I went to confession (and without an iPhone app. to accompany me, how did I manage?). In the confessional, I was discussing my lack of structured prayer and how I felt like my focus has shifted from "All-God" to "All-Mom"...and I was at a loss. Was I doing my best to live out my vocation? Didn't my vocation hinge on the whole God-thing? What was I doing to make time for Him? Between laundry, meals groceries, playing, reading, school, and "Mama, uuuppp!" there was no time for holiness.

Basically, I was sucking at the very thing He was calling me to do. But praise God for His holy counsel!

The priest kindly looked at me and said, "Maybe, just maybe, this is what holiness looks like for you right now- as wife, and as mother."

Huh, what?

The thought had never occurred to me. I could actually go all Therese of Lisieux on this vocation and make vacuuming prayer? Again, huh, what?

We all so desperately need to turn over to our Lord every aspect of every day, offering up our trials and triumphs for His incredible purification. But, that may not mean an hour of reading scripture nightly or even going to daily Masses that are anything but holy due to their falling right at Cal's mealtimes or nap times (lots of whines and screams abound on both of our mind becomes the eternal clicking countdown to final blessing so we can get our shizzle on home...curses under breath as my whispered "No" is so easily get the idea).

Holiness as mothers and wives may actually look like picking up that toy for the twelfth time today and not thinking "This is going in my 'June-Box', once it's in, it's in until June." Or, it may be chasing your 1-year-old around with clean diaper, as the thought of not peeing all over Mommy's clean floor does not really appeal to him. And maybe it is sanitizing hands for the third time in one day due to playing in diapers, toilets, and the like (not that I'm speaking from experience).

I think my biggest struggle with my move into the Mommy Hood, is that what I used to do to foster my relationship with the Lord is not an option anymore. Mass and holy hours are rare opportunities, gifts. Nightly prayer is often done whilst snoring, and morning prayer gets disrupted by commands of "Mooore!" But, I think what the Lord was/is trying to say is that this is okay....even good. A quick prayer before meals with my son is worth every last prayer on my own so that he may not only see prayer, but do prayer. And the rare daily Mass we get to attend is all the more embraced as a pure act of His grace and mercy.

Holiness takes on so many forms, all of which look vastly different for each individual. This definitely makes sense in the context of how uniquely each of us are created. We must strive to recognize not only what holiness looks like for us individually, but also come to grips with its evolution within our own souls.
My holiness today...after my holiness increased when my darling son threw bath toys in to the toilet.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Calan's Winter ONE-Derland!

On February 3rd, Calan Joseph turned one, and on February 5th, our house turned into a Cal Par-tay full of snowmen, snowflakes, and snowfall.

Here are some pics and our priceless first cake video.

Happy First, baby!

Calan's Actual Birthday with an "Aaaammmlo" [Elmo] Balloon

The Cake
The Spread

For me? Really?!@

Well, thanks.
Cake, you are all right!

Oh Dad, you slay me.

The Aftermath.
Cal's New Fav...Firetruck with a Puppy Driver. Oh yeah, I'd ride.
Mom, Dad, and Birthday Baby!