Monday, June 30, 2014

"We didn't start the fire..."

Over my breakfast, I read about the First Martyrs of the Church in Rome.  We celebrate their feast day today.  American Catholic gives a great summary:
In July of 64 A.D., more than half of Rome was destroyed by fire. Rumor blamed the tragedy on Nero, who wanted to enlarge his palace. He shifted the blame by accusing the Christians. According to the historian Tacitus, many Christians were put to death because of their “hatred of the human race.” Peter and Paul were probably among the victims. (emphasis mine) 
"Wow," I thought, "It must have been crazy living in a time like that."  There were people so scared of Christians that they started fires, accused them of hating the human race, and killed them.  

Photo from

A few hours later, I heard the blessed news that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Christian-run Hobby Lobby.  In summary, Justice Alito said, "The Supreme Court holds government can’t require closely held corporations with religious owners to provide contraception coverage.”    

Then, The Examiner shared the reactionary Tweets from those hoping to see the Christian-run company burned to the ground.  I'll let you go to the link to read the most explicit Tweets.
"[L]iterally burn hobby lobby (sic) to the ground," one pro-abortion liberal screamed on Twitter.
"I hope all your stores burn to the ground," another person said.
"#HobbyLobby are scum of the earth. Burn every single one down, build a homeless shelter there instead," a third person said.

And then came this:

Sound familiar?  Paranoid, scared people accusing Christians of hating humanity?  And then starting fires out of paranoia?

On this feast day dedicated to the Roman martyrs killed by a paranoid Christian hater in a fire, sing it with me and Billy!  "We didn't start the fire..."

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Open the champagne! Residency is OVER!

HALLELUJAH!  Philip had his last (overnight) shift of residency last night.  It's become our family tradition to have donuts after the overnight shifts, so Philip brought home some tasty pastries to celebrate.  

It's been a long haul, and I am so proud of Philip!  Anytime we have a big milestone, I get all sentimental and have to go back down memory lane.  

Here are a few pictures from our journey:

Match Day
St. Patrick's Day, 2011
13-month-old Jane (and Elmo) joined us on stage to learn our fate
Fortunately for us, Philip matched exactly where he wanted, and we got to stay in Omaha for residency.  Yay!

So happy and excited to get to stay in Omaha for residency!
Medical school graduation, May 2011
(Walt was born a week later)
The first day of Philip's 3-year pediatric residency program
July 2013
Celebratory donuts on the last day of Philip's "night float" month (translation: a month of exclusively working night shifts).  That was the month before Harry was born.

It's bragging time...

Sorry that picture is so crummy.  I was so excited and my vision was blurred with my tears, so I had trouble capturing the moment with my phone camera.  

For all of you who weren't there, I took this picture at the annual banquet recognizing the graduating pediatric residents.  The banquet just so happened to take place the night before we moved to Lincoln!  Every year, the Children's Hospital nursing staff selects a pediatric resident who they believe provides exemplary care to the patients and is a pleasure to work alongside.  This picture is of Philip receiving that award--for the second time during his 3 years of residency.  

Philip, I had to bring up this big deal award because it illustrates the kinda guy you are.  We all know the kind of ego that comes along with having M.D. behind someone's name (wink), but not with you.  I know I'm biased because I'm your bride, but I'd bet the house that you're among the sharpest and most talented residents the program has ever seen.  But that's not why you received that award.  That award is all about that big heart of yours.  You give your patients the highest level of care, you comfort & cheerlead their parents, you work as a team player alongside the other medical staff, but you remain meek as you learn something with every patient interaction.  For those reasons, I'm not surprised that the hospital nursing staff chose to honor you 2 of the 3 years you served alongside them.  It must be a pain in the neck working with some of you doctor types (ha!), but you know how important every member of the medical staff is--especially those awesome nurses.

I have to share this because I think it illustrates why you received the Service Excellence Award:  It became your tradition on the last day of each rotation to leave the house extra early so that you could bring the nurses special treats as a thank you for their help that month.  Because you value the work I do at home so much, I know the respect you carry over to the nursing staff who, in many ways, mother those precious patients during their hospital stays.  Of all of the things you've done during your time in residency (and you've done big deal stuff like save kids' lives), I think I'm most proud of the way you've honored the nursing staff in your interactions with them.  Way to go, honey!

Philip & the kids before he left for his last night shift of residency.  
Had to capture my cute husband in scrubs for the last time!

Philip snapped this shot on his way home this morning.  Even though we've lived in Lincoln for a month, the reality of it all is finally starting to sink in this morning.

Philip, playing cars with the kids after our celebratory donuts.  I am so excited to see a whole lot more of this.  
When Philip came home this morning, Walt said, "You miss work, Daddy?"  They can't believe that from now on Daddy gets to sleep at home every night.  When I told them that Daddy gets to be on vacation for a few weeks before he starts his new job, they couldn't wrap their minds around it.  Daddy is a hot commodity around here, and they're thrilled to get to spend all of this time with him.  

Congratulations, "Dr. Phil"!  We are all so proud of your achievement!  You are going to make a fantastic pediatrician.  The families in Lincoln are lucky to have you.  

Cheers to this calmer, simpler chapter in our lives!  It's so much fun to feel like our lives are no longer in a holding pattern.  It's time to put down roots, get settled, and adjust to the new normal.  Normal is good, and we're loving it!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Little Moments

Because sometimes you want to share photos instead of write.

Enjoying the front yard together

I call the following series "The many faces of Walt." 

A cruising baby wants to go for a cruise in the Cozy Coupe
Hanging on what Walt calls the "shake shake bridge" (Any Thomas fans out there?)
Can you find all three kids?
Who needs a triple stroller? 
I caught them playing in Walt's room this morning
They're so good at including Harry and making him laugh 
Surprisingly, Walt doesn't care anymore when Harry takes apart the tracks.  Yay for growth!
An impromptu piano concert after breakfast.  Harry is their biggest fan!
Harry has successfully removed these wood things from 3 windows and 1 door.  He thought they interfered with his ability to keep an eye on the hood through the front window.
The other night, I poured myself a glass of wine and laughed at what was on the counter.  I had to capture it in its glory--the wooden divider thing for the window that Harry ripped off, my wine, "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons," and baby wipes.  Just a day in the life, people!

Here's How You Can Help Amanda and Jonathan

You want to help?  Now's the time!

Remember my friends, Amanda and Jonathan Teixeira?  Remember how I told you that they are adopting and that I want your help to make their story go viral?  Great news, friends!  Amanda and Jonathan have officially launched their fundraising campaign, and they've made it easy for all of us to help.

(Photo credit: Alzbeta Volk
Aside from continued prayer, Amanda and Jonathan propose that there are 2 specific ways that you can be of the most help:

1.  Help Them Find a Birth Mother

(Photo credit: Alzbeta Volk
In this post, Amanda and Jonathan ask you to help them find a birth mother, explaining the difference between a "designated adoption" and a "domestic infant adoption."  Despite being tremendous stewards of their financial resources, adoption usually comes with a hefty price tag.  Helping Amanda and Jonathan to find a birth mother will help to significantly lower the price via a designated adoption.

Share their photos, inquire into adoption situations near you, and PRAY!

2.  Participate in Their Adorable Adoption Puzzle Fundraiser

(Photo credit: Alzbeta Volk
Here’s how it works:

  • We have designed a beautiful 1,000 piece puzzle
  • Each piece can be purchased for a $25 donation or more
  • You can buy one or many puzzle pieces
  • Your name and personalized message (optional) will be written on the pieces you purchase scaled to size
After the puzzle is completed, we will frame the puzzle between two pieces of glass and hang it in our child’s room. This will be a wonderful keepsake to see all the people who loved Baby Teixeira before he/she was even born!

I am so proud of Amanda and Jonathan for continually discerning God's will in all of this and for inviting the rest of the Body of Christ to participate in their journey.  When a loved one is going through something as momentous as this, it is such a blessing when they open their arms and invite us to come alongside them, helping to sustain them on their journey in whatever way we can.  

I love, love, love this explanation from Amanda in inviting us to participate:

If there is one theme that has been showing up in our prayer, it’s that God is writing a story here and we are simply along for the ride and need to hold on tight. This adoption is not just a means of growing our family. It can be a way to bring The Body of Christ together to answer God’s call to care for orphans. Who are we to prevent YOU from being able to answer this call in a concrete way by supporting our adoption efforts financially? For many, perhaps even yourself, this will be the only chance to care for an orphaned child in an up close and personal way and we invite you to come alongside us in this journey.

So, pray about it.  Do you know a birth mother?  Can you help Amanda and Jonathan to be put in touch with an adoption situation?  Is God putting it on your heart to share some of your treasure with the Teixeiras to help them bring a baby home?  Can you add a special prayer or day of fasting for the intention of their adoption?  Please consider how you can help these two dear friends of mine!  God will not be outdone in generosity with the ways He can use your sacrifices!   

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hello Flo - My Take on the "First Moon Party" Commercial

There's an online campaign called "Hello Flo" designed to help women navigate the waters from their first period to menopause.  I'm thrilled to see a group dedicated to demystifying these times of transition for women, but I'm troubled by their commercial called, "First Moon Party."

Here it is:

Even though I had a few good laughs when I watched the commercial for the first time, there was something about it that bothered me.  So, being the weirdo that I am, I decided to watch it a few more times.  

Now, I'm sure I don't like the commercial.

Here's my take:  Young girl, Katie, is feeling left out because all of her tween friends are getting their periods, and she hasn't gotten hers yet.  Katie pretends to get her period by painting glittery red nail polish on a pad.  When Katie's mom asks her what the nail polish coated pad is all about, Katie has some serious attitude and tells her mom that she has her period.  Instead of addressing her daughter's disrespect or taking the opportunity to talk about her daughter's transition into womanhood, the mom decides to one-up her daughter with an in-your-face one-two punch of humiliation and revenge in the form of a "First Moon Party."

The "First Moon Party" is supposed to be a first period celebration.  During the party, we see the guests filter in (including the mom's young male coworker who shows up with coffee filters for Katie), a game of "pin the pad on the period," a uterus piñata, a tampon earring wearing guest treating herself to a marshmallow dipped in the red chocolate fountain, a boy band (who thanks Katie's mom for inviting them to the "weirdest birthday party ever"), and Katie's dad emerging from a cake in a red unitard.

Poor Katie screams and runs off in embarrassment.  Katie's mom finds her alone inside the house and tells her that she's "missing the vagician" and that the "party is a hit."  When Katie finally admits that she faked getting her period, the commercial cuts to the mom devilishly giggling during a camera interview.

Then, we see Katie's mom hand her a package.
"Period starter kit?  Aren't you going to ground me for lying?" asks Katie.
Katie's mom cocks her head, asks, "Why do you think I threw you the First Moon Party?" and triumphantly turns on her heel to return to the party.  

I know, I know, most of you are going to tell me, "C'mon, Catherine.  Lighten up!  The commercial isn't supposed to be taken seriously!  It's supposed to be funny!  Do you really think there are mothers out there like this?!"

Well...yeah, I do think there are mothers and fathers and siblings like this.

I get it.  I get it.  I really do.  I know they're just trying to sell first period care packages and get a laugh, BUT (and you knew there would be a "but"), I am not okay with the commercial's take-home message.

The mom misses a huge opportunity to talk with her daughter about what getting your first period means and all of the changes that will come with it.  Instead of making an already embarrassing and uncomfortable time better for her daughter, the mom takes her daughter's rude tone as an excuse to humiliate her in the form of a "First Moon Party."  

By the end of the party, Katie is humiliated and anything but open to talking with her mom.  When Katie's mom lets her in on the whole prank, she simply hands Katie the period starter kit.  It's as if handing her the kit is some sort of substitute for the welcome to womanhood talk and time a mother should have with her daughter.  It's almost as if the mom is saying, "C'mon, I got you this gift, so you should be happy I didn't ground you and threw you this humiliating party instead."

In one of the last scenes, we see Katie sitting in a chair with her mom.  Katie's mom gives the camera a smirk as she strokes Katie's arm, "What?  Did she think I wouldn't know?  Periods don't have glitter in them."  Katie's reaction says it all:

Katie's mom is more concerned with retaliation and being perceived as funny than the big picture.  Hardy har har, she made her young male coworker laugh, and the boy band thinks she's cool, but what about her daughter?  Absolutely, Katie was rude and she never should have talked to her mother the way she did, but the mom's antics are toxic in a mother-daughter relationship just entering puberty.  

Some people are championing this commercial as being a pioneer because it makes light of periods.  I'm all for humor, and I think this commercial had a lot of potential, but the humor falls flat for me.  In the end, the commercial further cements the message that a period is something to be ashamed of, it's gross, it's weird, and it's not something that mothers and daughters talk about.  Instead, the answer is a period starter kit that Katie's mom seems to think will fill in where her parenting fails.  The answer is making your daughter more embarrassed of her fertility and thinking of a period as some kind of curse instead of a sign that she is becoming a woman and is perfectly healthy.

Like most young women, Katie is obviously very susceptible to peer pressure.  (After all, it was the wanting to fit in and faking her period that ignited this escapade.)  A girl entering puberty who is already susceptible to peer pressure is going to have some tough times, and she needs a loving, trusting relationship with her mom to guide her.  Unfortunately, Katie is probably never going to talk with her mom about "girl problems," dating, sex, drinking, or drugs.    

Katie's mom taught her this: be respectful, or I won't hesitate to publicly shame you.  If you hurt me, I will turn on you when you need me most.  I will not take into account your age or your immaturity, and I will have no regard for the big picture.  I will do what suits me in the moment.  

The trouble with this commercial is that we're brought in as comrades with Katie's mom.  We feel like we're along the ride to show brat Katie who will get the last laugh.  If the commercial were from Katie's vantage point, it wouldn't get the laughs, likes, and shares on social media.  Those of us who had embarrassing first period stories would feel for the poor girl.  The mom's bullying would be clear, and we probably wouldn't think it was funny.  We'd see a girl who's in for a lifetime of being unable to open up to her mother.  As a result, she'll be more likely to end up at risk for depression, premarital sex, STD's, teen pregnancy, and suicide.  I know a lot of you will think I'm being melodramatic, but that's what happens when a young girl isn't getting love and affirmation at home.  She'll seek out love and affirmation in unhealthy, risky behavior that will leave her hurt.  I know you'll tell me, "It's just a commercial," but I'm imagining fictional Katie with a few more years of living with a bully mom.  I don't think we'd be laughing at the results.
Katie may have acted like a brat (who didn't from time to time at that age?), but she deserved more from her mother.  She deserved punishment for acting like a brat, she deserved her mother's forgiveness, and she deserved an open, ongoing conversation about her sexuality with her mother.  Instead, she got public shaming and a resolve to never trust her mother again.  That's a recipe for disaster in a teenage girl, and that's not what I want for my daughter.  The "First Moon Party" is a flop for me. 

At the end of the day, it's a silly commercial, but I think this silly commercial is saying a lot about our culture's attitudes toward parenting and a girl's coming of age.   

Monday, June 23, 2014

Hello, Flo

Have you seen the latest ad campaign designed to help girls navigate the winding road of becoming a woman?  Check it out.  The campaign is called Hello Flo, and there's a silly commercial to accompany the website.  

From "First Moon Party" commercial

The gist of the commercial is this:  A junior high girl's friends are all getting their periods.  In an attempt to fit in, the girl fakes getting her period for the first time.  Her mom knows she's faking, but instead of letting her know she knows, the mom says it's a family tradition to throw a "first moon party."  The mom spares no expense having a crazy party celebrating her daughter's fake first period--long guest list, a boy band, red chocolate fountain, uterus piñata, etc.  

Here's the commercial:

I'll weigh in with my opinion on the commercial another time.  What do you think about it?

For now, I want to go down memory lane...  

The commercial took me back to the summer after fifth grade when I got my first period.  Come back in time with me.  It was the summer of "Macarena" and "No Diggity," the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta (way to land it, Kerri Strug!), and Friends, 7th Heaven, and Everybody Loves Raymond were the top shows.   I was (of course) on a road trip family vacation with my parents and two of my brothers to Durango, Colorado.  We had just arrived at the hotel and were going to the hotel pool.  I excused myself to use the restroom when I discovered that I had gotten my period.  Thanks to fifth grade "Reverence for Life" with Miss DeScoise at St. Roberts (and all of the talk about this stuff at sleepovers), I knew what was up.  

I was in a hotel room bathroom in a bathing suit and had no feminine products in sight.  The rest of my family was at the pool, and my mom's suitcase didn't have anything.  With no other options, I rolled up some toilet paper, got dressed, and found my mom at the pool.  After making her promise not to tell my dad and brothers, we got what we needed at the hotel gift shop.  While I was in the hotel room bathroom taking proper care of things, my two brothers had come back from the pool and relished the opportunity to bother me on the other side of the door.  "What are you doooooooooooooing?"  Brothers.  

My big sister, Jenny, was working as a counselor at Camp Foster that summer.  (That's the same YMCA summer camp where Philip and I were counselors the first summer we were dating.)  Since the hotel gift shop didn't have stationery, I settled for sharing the exciting news with Jenny via a postcard.  I thought I was being all sly with my secret message.  I wrote, "You're never going to guess what happened.  I GOT IT!!!"  Yup, top secret.  Years later, Jenny told me how she got the postcard during the larger than life mail distribution ceremony after lunch in the dining hall.  She proceeded to share it with the other counselors, and apparently my not-so-secret postcard made its way to the staff lounge bulletin board.  The Camp Foster staff was thrilled for me!

Ladies, what's your first period story?  I hope it wasn't as mortifying as mine!  Did you want it?  Fear it?  Have nightmares about getting it in the middle of science class?    

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Adventures in Potty Training With Walt

I kept putting off potty training with Walt for one reason or another.  He wasn't ready last May when he turned 2, so I said, "We'll just wait until after we have this baby (Harry) in August."  Then, we had the craziness of newborn life coupled with Jane starting preschool.  Once all of that was calming down, postpartum depression reared its ugly head in November.  When I was coming out of the postpartum depression fog in March, we had subcontractors galore at the house to get it ready for listing.  Then, it was the craziness of listing the house, showings, selling, and moving.

What a year!  

Now that we've been in Lincoln for a month and life is settling down, Walt seems ready, and we're finally in a place to tackle potty training consistently.  Yay!  

Overall, after one week in, I'd say we're off to a great start.  This is actually my first time being the primary potty trainer because Philip's mom potty trained Jane last year while we were out of town!  I know, I scored big time in the mother-in-law department, huh?  We love you, Mimi!    

The big lessons from this week were:
  • The kid doesn't drink enough, and I need to push fluids
  • We need to buy training pants.  Regular undies = puddles.  Pull-ups = not caring about being wet.
  • I am not above bribery.  
  • Bribery works better when your kid isn't plotting to end potty training once he gets what he wants.

To help motivate Walt, I took a page out of Mimi's potty training playbook.  To get Jane to use the potty, she hit up the dollar section at Target and bought several "potty prizes."  When Jane successfully used the potty, she got to pick out a tissue-wrapped potty prize.  I packed up the kids first thing Monday morning so that we could pick up some "potty prizes" for Walt.  Jane got a tiny little something for being Walt's "potty training coach," too.   

Reading Potty Animals, the equally entertaining and informative picture book about what not to do when using the potty

Walt is all about anything having to do with Cars these days, so some of his potty prizes were little matchbox-size cars from the movie.  I made the mistake of not wrapping the potty prizes in tissue paper for him to pick randomly from a box.  I just had them out on display.  In between visits to the potty, Walt would come over to the counter to covet the potty presents.  "Mama, I just wanna look at them."  I didn't know it then, but he was plotting.

A few days into training, we had a major breakthrough.  It involved #2.  The kid was so enthralled with his bathroom reading that he didn't even know what had happened.  When I went to check on him, he said there was no action.  "I'm gonna keep trying.  I want Mr. King!"  (That's a turquoise car from Cars.)  I started with my, "Good try, buddy" speech when I looked in the potty and saw the big achievement.  He was as shocked as I was.  

When it came to picking out his potty prize, he instantly chose the car, Mr. King. 

So proud of himself and excited to get Mr. King
I said, "Give me a thumbs up!" and he gave me a #1.  I told Philip it would have been more appropriate if  he held up two fingers.  Potty training humor...
Right after I took the victory pictures of Walt with Mr. King, the little stinker said, "Mama, I don't need to go on the potty and get toys."  Oh dear.  I should have wrapped the potty prizes in tissue paper so that he had to guess which one had Mr. King!  

Fortunately, the little guy changed his tune the next time the timer went off, and he went right back to enjoying his bathroom reading.  

At a MOPS meeting two years ago, a mom said, "You know, college applications don't ask how old your child was when he potty trained."  I keep that in mind when I find myself getting frustrated with the process.  He'll get it in his own time.  Tomorrow marks one week of potty training.  I'm still accepting any and all prayers!  We can do this!   

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Fun in the Sun

I love the summer!  After a long, long winter, it is so much fun to get everyone outside as much as possible.

The other night, Jane and Walt ran around in the sprinkler and played with the water table after dinner.  Meanwhile, Philip mowed the front lawn, Harry had a ball in the shade in his pack and play full of toys, and I snapped pics of the monkeys in action.

Last night, Philip and I sat in the driveway with Harry while "the big kids" played on everything with wheels.

"See you later!"
"Hi, Mama!"
I love Walt's cheesy selfie smile
I equally love Janie's silly smirk when she knows she's getting her picture taken
They thought they were pumping up the tricycle tires
Jane got distracted and started pumping up the metal when she heard the neighbor boys running by
Entranced by the neighbor boys
Taking turns blowing up each other's cheeks with the bike pump

Read, Pray, and Please Make This Go Viral!

Faithful blog readers, remember my dear friend, Amanda Teixeira?  Back in December, we wrote a series on the cross of infertility.  (If you didn't have a chance to read it, head on back to read Amanda's words.  She does such a great job of explaining what it's like for a couple to carry the cross of infertility.)

This last week, Amanda and her husband, Jonathan, happened to be in town for a family wedding.  Even though their visit was super jam-packed with other obligations, people to visit, and things to do, they were gracious enough to head down the road to Lincoln and pay us a visit.  It was so nice to be able to catch up and hear all about the latest in their world.  (If you want to keep up on what the Teixeiras are up to, head over to their great blog, TRUEGOODANDBEAUTIFUL.)

Aren't they adorable?  This picture makes me smile ear to ear.
Let me cut to the chase.  I need your help, and Amanda and Jonathan would love it if you could help, too!  You see, they have discerned that God is calling them to adopt a precious baby.  You can read about their posts on adoption here.  

So, how can we help Jonathan and Amanda to  help their dreams come to fruition?

1.  Spread the word!

As Amanda wrote on their blog,
"...pursuing designated adoption versus agency domestic adoption is significantly more affordable. As in one-third to half of the cost. It involves locating a birth mother on our own or via family/friends connections and then going to our agency to set up the legal paperwork and proper counseling to facilitate the adoption.
The hardest part of this type of adoption is locating a birth mother. We plan to make an adoption video/profile and set up some sort of social media campaign to let others know we desire to adopt and are looking for any connection to a birth mother out there. If you have any connection at any time to a birth mother discerning adoption, LET US KNOW!"  
Do you know of a birth mother discerning adoption?  Please pass along Amanda and Jonathan's information!  

2.  Share our treasure 

I can't say it any better than Amanda did:
"This can be the scary part for some adoptive couples out there. Since Jonathan and I already fundraise our of income this portion isn’t that frightening. We know too many generous and kind people to be afraid of fundraising. We also have watched God provide for our needs time and time again in the most random ways. If adopting is God’s will for our family – the money will come some way or another. 
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction…” James 1:27 
Sure, we could simply rely on grants, tax credits, and personal budget/savings to do this adoption. But we feel an actual calling to involve others. In our self-sufficient society, we feel God asking us specifically to make ourselves vulnerable in this way. To expose our needs to others – for judgement, generosity, kindness, cruel comments, etc. I have no idea as to what people will think but we are being obedient to God in this, so I can’t care what people think. 
This adoption isn’t just a means of growing our family. It can be a way to bring The Body of Christ together in a powerful way to answer God’s call to care for orphans. Who are we to prevent others from being able to answer this call in a concrete way by supporting our adoption efforts financially? For most, this will be the only way they ever have to care for an orphaned child in an up close and personal way. Through financially supporting us, they are giving a child a family. 
We aren’t sure exactly how we will pursue fundraising. There are TONS of ideas out there in books, blogs, and on Pintrest. Once we become home study approved, we will take more concrete steps to put together a fundraising initiative."
Stay tuned as to how Amanda and Jonathan will formally fundraise.  In the meantime, if you are interested in helping them "bring The Body of Christ together," you can contact them here.   
3.  Pray, pray, pray
Keep those prayers coming!  Nothing is impossible with God.  May God's will be done in His perfect time for Amanda and Jonathan.  We pray that God's will is for them to become parents of a precious baby through the ultimate generosity of a birth mother who chose them as his or her parents.

Thank you for reading a little about Amanda and Jonathan's story.  They will continue to share updates and information about ways we can help on their blog.  Become a subscriber to Amanda and Jonathan's blog TRUEGOODANDBEAUTIFUL to stay up-to-date.  I'll keep sharing news and updates here, too.  In the meantime, keep those prayers coming, prayerfully discern sharing your treasure, and pass along their information to any possible birth mothers.  Thank you for helping my dear friends! 

Holy Family of Nazareth, pray for us!  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Random Picture Recap

Thought I'd share a few pictures of what we've been up to since the big move.

Playing on the parish playground.  Did I mention our new parish is a leisurely five minute stroll from our home?  GLORIOUS!

Walt, our Very Hungry Caterpillar at the Lincoln Zoo

Another beautiful evening at the parish playground

Grilling Master on Father's Day

Helping "Papa" with his Father's Day presents

Crazy hair and an ice cream mustache

Philip loves to have Harry play peek-a-boo around the corner.  "Hi, Mom!  Whatcha doin'?"

Running around the backyard.  I could go on and on and on about how much I looooooooove having a real backyard.  Monty loves his new-found freedom!

All ready for ballet class at the local gym

Harry, hanging at the Lincoln zoo 
First pony ride at the Lincoln zoo

A regular shopping adventure "at our new Lincoln Target" (as the kids call it)

We eat outside as much as possible because it's so much fun!

Posing with Grandma Sally during a visit from the Omaha grandparents (Grandma Sally, Grandpa Dan, Great Grandma Connie, and Great Grandpa Mel).  I'm still kicking myself for not getting a group photo.
Jane and I got to attend Aunt Maddy's dance recital.  She did such a great job!  Beautiful job on the bun, Janet!  
Philip has been busy organizing the garage.  I'll share more pictures when he's done.  Way to go, honey!
My loves on Father's Day

It's been a fun, wild ride!  In just a few more weeks, Philip will be done commuting to Omaha, and he'll officially be done with residency.  FOR-EV-ER!  YAHOO!  In the meantime, we're getting into a rhythm at the house.  Most days consist of going to the new gym, storytime, housework/errands, visits to our new favorite spots (zoo, library, parks), and play dates with our Lincoln buddies.  It's been a great summer so far, and we're looking forward to more fun times in the months to come!