Friday, February 28, 2014

Being Jewish During Lent

Being Jewish during Lent means I automatically get to pick up a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free-Card and Pass Go—straight on to the pink Peeps. But my daughter is Catholic, and it's vital to our family to instill in her the importance of the Lenten season.

Growing up, watching my Catholic friends and relatives (yes, we're a mixed bunch!), I always got the impression that Lent meant only giving something up (i.e., chocolate or fast food) just to witness them gobble down a half-pound chocolate bunny and drive through McDonald's after Mass. Sometimes for fun, I would join in with my friends to see what I could give up for forty days, too. It was like a fun little game for me.

As I got older I began to learn that you're not limited to only picking something to give up for Lent, but rather you can choose to add something significant to your life—such as waking up earlier to go to the gym every morning, or finding a new program to volunteer for, or reading the Bible before bed every night.

Last year around this time, someone asked me what I was giving up for Lent to which I laughed and facetiously replied, “I'm Jewish—I get to do whatever I want!” (Seriously people, I was joking, and please do not take that the wrong way.) I continued on to say that Lent wasn't just about giving something up for the sake of “It's Lent—quick! I've gotta give something up!” but can also be a time to switch gears and refocus on becoming a-better-version-of-yourself.

At the time, the thought of giving up fast food or chocolate seemed insignificant in comparison to adding something meaningful to your life; but really, don't both ends of “giving up something” and “adding something” guide you in becoming your better self? I can take it a step further, too, and add that if we are becoming better people ourselves, we are also helping to serve others. If I'm working to become a-better-version-of-myself, in turn, I'm also becoming a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and citizen.

And isn't that the whole point of humanity anyway?

Since my daughter is still only three, I don't think I want to take the route of “giving something up,” but rather enlighten her character by adding something meaningful to her life. At her age, I feel it needs to be somewhat tangible since feelings are hard to grasp and measure when you're in preschool. {However, the other day she did tell me it hurt her feelings when I was bothering her during a puzzle...}

Not to get all preachy, but the last thing I want is for my daughter to grow up thinking Easter is about The Bunny and baskets. {Although I did snag some pretty stellar pink golf clubs at a resale to put in her basket since we don't do candy.} I don't want materialistic things to trump the true meaning of Easter. But I digress. This post isn't about The Resurrection, per say, but about the practice of Lent.

Just because I'm not Catholic, doesn't mean I can't participate in Easter-y things. Sure, there are definitely rituals reserved for Catholics, and I'm always respectful of that (i.e., not taking Communion), but there's a lot every individual can learn about the ritual of sacrificing for Lent. I have realized that giving up something often results in a person practicing self-denial and “suffering,” reminding him or her what God was willing to give up on his or her behalf. 

As an outlier throughout the Lenten season, and someone who can only partially participate, I personally take away the message that this is a time to turn down self-gratification, and reflect and ponder on sacrifices I can make as an individual, as well as healthy habits I can choose to do to help me become a-better-version-of-myself. 

loyally,
katie

-->> Stay tuned to find out what I've decided to give up or add, and what we will be doing with Emmalyn to help her grasp the meaning of the Lenten season! Have you thought about what you will be doing either as an individual or family? -->>

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Evolving into a Better Person

I recently asked myself: Am I evolving into a better person each day?

I hope so!

I try to learn from my mistakes and faults and to not make the same ones the following day. As a mother, there are many examples I could pull from. There are times when a phrase or remark slips out of my mouth at the speed of lightning in reaction to something Emmalyn does and I instantly regret it. For instance, just the other day she wouldn't eat her lunch and in a sudden fit, knocked over a glass of milk, soaking my shirt and pants. Without even thinking for one second, I yelled, "Look at what you just did!" 

Immediately, I regretted my reaction and choice of words. Have you ever felt this way? It made me feel about as big as a dung beetle. I was ashamed of my choice of words, but there was no taking them back, so I just continued to clean up the mess, cursing myself all the while. Obviously the day went on as it normally does: a small tantrum here and there, with lots of smiles and giggles filling in the gaps of typical three year-old frustrations.

Then at the end of the day, before I closed my eyes for the night, I replayed the milk-spilling scenario over in my head. I cringed (and still do) at the person I witnessed myself being; but then, I re-envisioned the scenario with me reacting and responding in a way I could be proud of. Revisiting and re-visualizing the scene helped me prepare for future similar situations to occur. And I know three year-olds are notorious repeat-offenders so I will have plenty of opportunities to exercise my new reaction and response--one I will feel better and unashamed about.

Now I know I'm evolving into a better person!

loyally,
katie

So tell me, how are you evolving into a better person each day?

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Conversations With a Three Year-Old

Upon seeing a U.S. Navy flag is someone else's yard...
Emmalyn: Look, Mommy! They have a flag for Daddy.
Me: It's for Andrea. She's in the United States Navy, too.
E: No, only Daddy's in the Navy.
Me: Well, actually there are a lot of people in the Navy.
E: No! Only Daddy!

Random Girl: I'm from San Diego, but I'm vacationing in {insert where we live}
E: I live in {our new city} but I'm from Orlando.

The Hubs: Emmy, want to play basketball with me?
E: Of course, Daddy!
Duh.

E: That's putrid!
Not sure what the context was, but I hope it had nothing to do with me!

E: Mommy, you have to eat your breakfast; and you get what you get and you don't get upset!
At least I know she's listening!

E: Your belly is going to grow bigger--like a giant!
Greeeeaaat...

E: Mommy, I'll give you privacy, but then I'll come back to help you wipe. 

We made a Valentine's card for my five year-old nephew, & with no prompting from me whatsoever, these are the reasons she loves her cousin...
...he's my cousin
...he's big five
...he's my best friend
...I love him
...we play hide-n-seek
...he makes me laugh
...we play cars
...I love him so big!

E: There's a burr {sand spur} in my foot, but don't get it out! It's my choice!

E: Good morning, Mommy! How'd you sleep last night?
Me: Very well, thank you. How about you?
E: I cried for you in my bed.
Breaks my heart...

E: Thank you for buying me new diapers {nighttime pull-ups} They're pink, and they're my favorite!

When she wants me to get out of bed in the morning:
E: Come on, Mommy! Get up! The sun is out!
When she wants to stay in her bed in the morning:
E: Leave me alone! The sun is not out yet.

& there are a lot more where these came from! I'm glad I try to write most of them down in Emmalyn's not so baby book. They'll be fun for her to look back on.

Having a three year-old is tough, but it's also quite funny ;)

Have a happy day!

loyally,
katie

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bumpdate: 26 Weeks ~ Baby #2

How far along: 26 weeks

Symptoms: Heartburn & indigestion, hip pain 


Maternity Clothes: Yup. 


Total Weight Gain: 14 lbs... yeeps!

Gender: girl, & pretty sure we're set on a name ;)


Sleep: I get up to pee about a zillion times, but other than that, sleep is good.


Cravings & Aversions: sweet & salty things


Funny Moments: Emmalyn pretending to tickle the baby


Nesting: Just the other day, I got all new bedding/pillows for the full-sized bed in the baby's room.
I found a navy and white table cloth with a rope pattern all over it that I'm going to turn into the curtains. I picked up the matching table runner, too, to lay on top of the dresser to protect the wood. They were all a steal from both Marshall's and Stein Mart. I also found the most perfect decorative (but totally practical) baskets--in coral and navy. With anchors! I thought for sure I would have a difficult time finding coral-colored items, and would have to change part of our color scheme to pink (which I really didn't want to do because I've been there, done that), but Stein Mart blew me out of the water with the amount of coral-colored nautical items they carried. Success! 

Best Moments This Week: Emmalyn calling her ("old") playroom the new baby's room, and even *giving* some of her stuffed animals to her "little sister". It's so sweet that she already wants to share. Let's just hope it stays that way...


What I Miss: My energy. 


Looking Forward To: Matching sister outfits!


loyally,
katie





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Friday, February 7, 2014

Currently...

...Watching... Fine! I confess... I am a TV junkie. I'll admit it: I watch way too much TV. It's my vice. I love to be lazy and curl up on the sofa after Emmalyn goes to bed, and catch up on my DVR. Some of my favorites include The Mindy Project [I die. every week. it's hill-air-E-us!], New Girl, Modern Family, Glee, Grey's Anatomy, Switched at Birth, The Fosters, Baby Daddy, Nashville, and The Carrie Diaries (which is totally the new Gossip Girl). I cannot watch reality TV!! It irks me & gets under my skin & leaves me all twitchy & in a bad mood. I don't need to watch grown women fight, whine, and cry; I get enough of that at home with a three year-old!

...Reading... umm... does Pinterest and Facebook count at literature? didntthinkso. The last book series I read was Divergent. The first 2 1/2 books were enthralling. The last half of the third book? notsomuch. I despised the ending. Oh well! I'm sure I'll still go see the movie. I really do love to read, though. I go through phrases where I'll read several books in a very short period of time, then nothing for a few months. Maybe if I stopped watching so much television...

...Doing... I've been s l o w l y moving Emmalyn's toys out of the playroom & into her bedroom to make way for Lil Sis. I started doing this right after the holidays. She's been doing really well with handling toys her in room. Before, she only had books and puzzles--ya know, quiet things. Yesterday I moved in her play kitchen and the large cubby-box-organizer-thingy containing all her kitchen accessories while she was at school. Upon discovering the change after her nap she said to me, "What did you do to my room?" I asked if she liked it and she shook her head no, but I'm pretty sure she isn't traumatized--all afternoon, & even this morning, she's been having a blast with all the extra floor space in the baby's room. All that's left to move over are her musical instruments (which may or may not take a detour to the baby's closet for a while), her dress-up clothes, and all those little random toys that I never know what to do with?

...Dreaming... about writing & illustrating a children's book. I've actually already written it, but need to hunker down and get started on the pictures. This has always been a dream of mine since I was a little girl, but honestly I wouldn't even know how to go about getting it published. One day, though. One day! If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough!

...Loving... Designing the new baby's nursery! We decided to keep the full-size bed in there for late night feedings/early mornings. Plus, the nursery can double as a guest room when needed since there's a bathroom attached to it. The people who previously lived in our house also had two little girls and painted this (our nursery) room a beautiful shade of aqua-ish blue. I'm uhbsessed with it! I think it will be a perfect fit for our "nautical" theme. A very fitting theme--if I do say so myself--since Daddy's in the Navy. Here's a little inspiration from my Pinterest board:






...Working on... Finding a rhythm. I say "rhythm" because it sounds way less daunting than "balance", don't you think? Trying to find balance overwhelms me, but finding a rhythm to my life seems a lot more realistic. Currently, the Hubs is working 12+ hour days, six days a week for this month's Residency rotation; which means Emmalyn and I need to find our own rhythm. I truly thought I'd be struggling to come up for air with my husband working so much, but it really hasn't been as bad as I imagined it. Of course it's a drag that we get very limited time with him when he gets home from work, and there are some nights I only see him thirty minutes before he has to go to bed (just to wake up and do it all over again the next day), but I think Emmalyn and I have sort of slid into a "flow" of how our day goes. The days are long, but the years are short.

...Thinking about... Starting a Facebook page for this little blog of mine. As of right now, I just post links to my blog through my personal (& private) Facebook page. A part of me thinks creating a Loyal, Loving, & Learning FB page seems conceited--like, "Look at me! Look at me!" but I get, on average, 700 hits a day. Some days 1,000. It seems like it may be time to separate it from my private News Feed. What do you think? Would you become a "fan" if I created a LLL page?

Alrighty! So now it's YOUR turn... I want to know all about your current events! :)

loyally,
katie


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