Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The struggle

It only gets more painful watching G struggle with fitting into our world, particularly school. Homework is so hard for him. It's completely outside his learning environment, I don't know the teaching methods and some of it (the math especially) I don't even know. It's frustrating for me so you know it's 10 times worse for him. 

I can see the pain in his body language, I can hear it in the way he talks to me but most of all I can see it in his eyes. And it guts me. Every day. 

I've read blog posts by other autism moms about their kids' abilities or lack thereof (the "at least yours can talk" kind of talk). I have to say I'm humbled by so many of these women and their struggles with their kids. So much so I don't always feel I have room to lament. I mean, G is so high-functioning, "he doesn't seem autustic," according to some. 

But let me say, the struggle is real. Really hard, really painful, and yes, sometimes really rewarding. But it's real. And it hurts. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015


I'm still in awe of this day. Everything that happened this day. 

My baby boy was baptized today with two other baby boys. Father Jim so lovingly baptizes babies. I could hardly hold back the tears as the prayers began -- so many people there to share this with us! So many people I love -- new friends and old.  

I'm holding him as I type this. This tight little bundle of God's love and grace snuggled up on me, warm and snoozing heavily (finally).  The smell of the oil of anoiting is still on his sweet head -- I never want to wash it off. I want to freeze this moment -- this feeling, this grace. His soul so perfectly clean, his body so warm and cuddling against me. 

Lord, help me to remember this feeling of utter peace and contentment. I feel so strangely, happily empty -- as if I've done something important, fulfilled a task with much meaning. This love and gratitude I have is a reflection of the love and mercy and grace you pour out on those who love you. Thank you, thank you Lord! 

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Seven years and one month ago, our oldest was diagnosed with autism. We had suspected for a while, so it wasn't a complete shock. But it was sobering and a little overwhelming. 

What most people don't know, though, is that while I was pregnant with Gabriel and reading all those insipid pregnancy and parenting magazines, I was absolutely terrified that my baby would have autism. 

Autism was getting a lot of press in 2004. And since so many parenting publications seem to purposefully instill fear and implicitly encourage a sense of inadequacy, autism became the the thing I prayed to God that my baby wouldn't have. In fact, I remember standing in the kitchen of the apartment I shared with my best friend and praying, "Please God, anything but autism. I want my child to be able to love me."

Now some would say God ignored my plea. I disagree. He answered my prayer by conquering my fear. He answered my prayer by showing me what love really is. He answered my prayer by showing me another facet of Himself. 

So on this day, the day the rest of the world waves the autism awareness flag, I remember the day we were blessed with this gift to the world. And I pray that the world will accept this gift, because he and everyone else with autism have so much more to offer than a "cause."

Monday, March 2, 2015

What she said

The time to make up your mind about people is never. 

Tracy Lord, The Philadelphia Story

Friday, January 30, 2015

Is there a word for second lunch?

Applegate Farms Genoa salami, Pink apples slices and Canyon Avocado Oil potato chips. 

Might not be the healthiest meal, but it's darn tasty! And considering my first lunch was turkey bacon and an avocado, I feel it's in keeping with a theme -- perhaps quasi-healthy?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Review: First Sunday in Advent

First of all, let me say I did not have a plan. I didn't even have Advent candles. But that didn't stop me! So long as I have a printer (with ink), markers and tape, we can have an Advent wreath. It's safe to say you won't see this on Pinterest. But we made it. And God willing we'll have real candles next Sunday.

The problem is my oldest boy's birthday falls on or near the first Sunday of Advent every year. Another problem is I can really only handle planning one thing at a time, and since this year the kid turns the big 1-0, I've been a little preoccupied. Oh yeah, there's the whole baby thing too. That sweet little bundle sucks up a whole bunch of time.

Anyway, this is the first year that Red, my soon-to-be 10-year-old, is responsible for inviting his friends to his party. Evidently, in the third grade they don't make you invite everyone in your class if you hand out invitations at school. So he has to remember to hand out his invitations for the party that is this weekend. And since his short-term memory really isn't the best, I'm a little worried. But he's been full of surprises lately, so I'm hoping for the best.

Friday, April 26, 2013

7 Quick Takes

It's my first attempt at 7 Quick Takes this week. Wish me luck!

1. Bevo is tasty!

Yesterday I picked up my first order from Farm to Fork, the local natural foods co-op -- grassfed, pastured Longhorn beef. And oh, my goodness. The ground beef was delicious! I've got some cutlets and a roast to look forward to, and Lord! I can't wait. Seriously. I'm hungry now just thinking about it, and I'm only on cup of coffee No. 2.

If you don't know who Bevo is, count yourself lucky. He's either beloved or despised in Texas, and all he is is a mascot. I married a proud UT alumni, so I'm a Longhorn by proxy -- it just comes with the territory, since I went to a fairly nondescript school. The things we do for love, right?

2. Chicks!

As in fluffy little baby chicks! My older son's class got to watch chicken eggs incubate and hatch over the last few weeks, and I've loved watching him get so excited about it. They have three little chicks in their class now, I'm not sure for how long, but just the fact he can talk to me about what they did, how they developed inside the egg and how they hatched -- using his words, no less -- I'm just thrilled and thankful he has such caring and inspired teachers.

3. Allergies!

I'm so over the nasty little bumpy rash thing on my face, I can hardly express it properly. Seriously, I'm done. I finally broke down and made an appointment with an allergist. I suppose after six years of serious food allergies, it couldn't hurt to see a professional about it.

4. Corn, Ubiquitous Corn

Piggybacking on No. 3, I started looking into possible causes of said rash, and all I can come up with is corn. I've known for years that I'm allergic to corn, but my biggest problem was always soy. Well, I think corn has claimed that crown now -- we'll find out soon enough. Corn, it turns out, is EVERYWHERE and in EVERYTHING. I honestly thought soy was the most intrepid, evil allergen lurking about, but I was wrong.

5. Home office!

Yes, now that I'm working from home three delightful days a week, my attention has turned to actually creating a home office. We've always sorta had one, since my husband works from home sometimes and I've freelanced in the past, but now we need to get serious about it. Like get a real chair for the desk before I sprain my bum neck.

6. Baseball!

We're a baseball loving family, with one son playing through the Miracle League and the other boy doing everything his brother does. Oh yeah, my husband works in sports, too, so there's that. (I never had a chance.) But this Sunday, thanks to the Miracle League, my slugger and future left-handed pitcher gets to train with the Texas Rangers at the Ballpark! I'm so excited for him. He got to train with the UTA baseball team last weekend, and now the Rangers. He is officially big-time.

7. Consecration!

Yes, I'm saving the best for last. On Sunday, April 28, I begin the 33-day process of consecration to Jesus through Mary. I'm using Father Michael Gaitley's book, 33 Days to Morning Glory, as a guide.

The seed of consecration was planted by my parish's Religious Education director a few years ago, so I got St. Louis de Montfort's book True Devotion to Mary but in typical Domini fashion, I overthought it so much the words didn't even make sense anymore. Well, this Lent things changed for some reason. While I really sucked at observing Lent this year, the Holy Spirit was clearly doing some work because suddenly it made sense. Like a true epiphany, I at once understood what it meant to consecrate oneself to Jesus through Mary. And like all aspects of conversion, it involves surrendering. And like all aspects of conversion, it really hard for me to do! But I realized after hearing Father Gaitley on Teresa Tomeo's show one morning, that it (consecration) is like conversion -- it's an ever-evolving, ongoing process, not a one-time thing. So, here we are. Pray for me, if you're so inclined. I sure could use the support.