Growing up I never considered myself very religious. I guess I believed in God and Jesus. We celebrated all the Christian holidays, but we never went to church. I think my parents both had not so great experiences with their churches growing up. My mom remembers the church bothering my grandfather for money when he had 5 children and a wife at home to feed. My parents wanted my brother an I to be able to make our own decision about what we believed in.
When I was 16 I begun attending an Episcopal Church with a friend from high school. I listened to the messages and felt so welcomed by the whole parish, so I continued to go. Every Saturday I would sleep at my friend's house and Sunday morning we'd head to church. After a rather traumatic breakup in high school, my friend who I attended church with invited me to something called "Happening". Happening is a weekend retreat at a church. Its pretty much run by teens for other teens. Where teens share their experiences with faith. There are all sorts of activities all weekend. More then I could ever explain. But after that weekend, everything just clicked. I felt like I knew that Jesus was my savior and that I needed to listen to God's word and pray and give thanks. I decided to get baptized in the Episcopal church when I was 16. My parents came and supported me while I stood on the alter on Palm Sunday and was baptized.
I wish I could say that I have been a good Christian since that day, but I would be lying. The friendship between my fiend and I had changed and I was no longer going to church with them, or with anyone. I still talked to God, but mostly when I was in trouble and was hoping He'd help me find a way out. I didn't go to church unless someone was getting married, baptized, or had past away. Until very, very recently.
Fast forward to today. Today we have recently joined our local Episcopal Church and attend every Sunday. They have a nursery where Mason goes to "school" and Doug an I are able to go to the service in peace. As he gets a bit older we will have him come with us, but now, it would be a waste. And as he gets even older, if he decides he does not want to attend our church, then I will not force him.
But I'm getting off track and the whole purpose of this post was to be about PRAYER.
Prayer is an amazing thing. If you haven't tried it, go ahead give it a shot! But I will tell you from personal experience as a young adult that you can just pray for things you want. God isn't just going to help you with the lottery, or not get caught sneaking out by your parents. That is not how it works. Now I have only been back to church for a very short time, and I am NO expert (though I intend to take come bible classes and further my very limited knowledge), but when I pray the first think I do is give thanks. How can I not? I am such a blessed person, sure I have my drama and bad days. Sure we have months where we aren't sure how on earth we are going to pay all the bills this month, but over all, we are healthy and happy, and so are our loved ones. So I always thank God for all the wonderful things in my life. Then I pray for the people who need it the most. Whether that be my sister in law's brand new baby girl who was in the NICU for 2 weeks, or someone like Stellan who I do not personally know, but I read his mother's blog and he has affected me in such a way, I can't explain. I pray for other babies who's blogs I read are stuck in terrible situations. I pray for my friends & family who are in tough situations at the moment. I pray for the safety of my husband and his coworkers who work in a dangerous field. I pray for my son. And then at the very end I pray for myself. I pray God will continue to fill me with the need and desire to attend church, that he will help me be the best mom, wife, daughter, sister,and friend I can be, that he will get rid of the unnecessary drama in our lives.
I've seen the power of prayer work. I've seen thousand of people pray for a baby who is just hanging on by a thread and miraculously that baby get better. I've seen hearts healed and drama ended.
I don't want to sound like my way is the only way, it sure it not. I don't think it matters if you go to church necessarily, I think what matters is you are thankful for what is provided for you and you want the best for others and you put both before yourself.
1.WATER:: I guess I have water on the brain because it has been a rainy few days in New Orleans. But still a HOT few days. You need to drink tons of water to stay hydrated in the deep south in the middle of summer.
2.WIKIPEDIA:: Thank God for that website!
3.WET:: Today I walked from my job to my house with both children, ya know my own and the one I watch.. I checked the weather radar before we left and figured we'd be fine.. We were not. We got SOAKED. Wow.. Kids LOVED it, I though it was unnecessary.
4.WEDDING:: Sunday is my 1 year wedding anniversary. 4 days after that we will have been together 7 years, so in a way. only celebrating 1 year married seems a bit funny to us.
5.WATERMELON:: Yummy summer treat! Seedless only please!
6.WOMEN:: I am lucky to be surrounded by strong women in my life. from friends to family. I know some amazing ladies.
7.WAWA:: The best convenience store ever. They are only in a few states in the north east. They have THE BEST COFFEE EVER. Living in the south for 2 years now, I even miss their hoagies. I'm pretty sure Wawa means goose of something in a native american language.
8.WORDS:: I am consistently telling Mason to "use your words" when he gets to upset and starts the mumbling crying thing.
9.WENDY'S:: When one of my best friends was pregnant, she craved Wendy's so much that the drive thru guy knew what we were going to order before we did and even told us one night that he had seen us driving like 5 towns over. *remember Michelle?
10.WAHOOS:: Indoor swimming when I was a child.
11.WHACKOS:: HA! Don't we all have some in our lives that we wish would go away?? I bet you do! Well do what I did (according to my sister in law) and grow some balls and put them in their place! It worked WONDERS and both sides of our families are THRILLED with the results. *Even if she tells me to "leave her alone" and she still reads my blog.. I LOVE my blog tracker that lets me know who is reading my blog*
12.WETLANDS:: The coastal and swampy regions of the area I live in are fading FAST. And with the wetlands going, it makes New Orleans and the lower lying areas much more vulnerable to sever hurricane damage. So SAVE OUR COAST!
13.WHALE WATCHING:: Something I've always wanted to do. Now if only I wasn't terrified of the ocean and boats..
I am an avid reader. I always have been, okay so I slacked off a bit in high school, but still. I read roughly 5-7 books a week, depending on the length of the book and the length of naptime. Thank God the parish I live in (parish is the same as county) has an amazing library and a system when I can search their database online and request books from other branches in the parish, or we'd go broke buying books! So I though I would start writing about a book I read if it was particularly good and I think other people would actually read it.
I just finished 'I Was Told There'd be Cake' by Sloane Crosley It was a nonfiction book and it consisted of short essays written by the author of funny things and times that happened in her life. It was quite funny. I found myself laughing aloud many, many times and making my husband listen to passages I particularly liked.
Here are some of my favorite parts...
"Oregon Trail left lots of room for creativity. It seemed ripe for the misuse. Like a precursor to the Sims, you were allowed to name your wagoneers and manipulate their destinies. It didn't take long for me to employ my powers for evil. I would load up the wagon with people I loathed, like my math teacher. Then I would intentionally lose the game, starving her or fording a river with her when I knew she was weak. The program would attempt and intervention, informing me that I had enough buffalo carcass for one day. One more lifeless caribou would make the wagon too heavy, endangering the lives of those inside. Really now? Then how about three more? How about four? Nothing could stop this huntress of the diminutive plains. It was time to level the playing field with the woman who called my differential equations "nonsensical" in front of fifteen other teenagers. Eventually a message would pop up in the middle of the screen framed in a neat little box: MRS.ROSS HAS DIED OD DYSENTERY. This filled me with glee." - from the essay Bring-Your-Machete-To-Work-Day.
"..We sat in the corner and played M.A.S.H.."You down with O.P.P?!" I screamed along to Naughty by Nature , bounding my awkward twelve year old body off the shellacked floor." Yeah you know me!" Francine shouted back. And I did. And that was seventh grade." - from the essay You on a Stick.
"During the dessert course each one of them gets up to use the bathroom. You do not recollect in what order, but none of them spends a memorable amount of time in there. It's getting late. You hug them all goodbye and walk them to the door...After they leave you begin to scrub chocolate rings from the insides of your bowls. You feel an abrupt pressure on your bladder and you head for the bathroom. Now, living by yourself in a studio apartment, one becomes highly attuned to any minor changes... your senses are heightened. You can immediately detect when something has gone out of whack. Nothing escapes the single-gal gaze. For instance: a perfect cherry sized turn on your bathroom carpet..." - from the essay Smell This
Hope I inspired you to go and pick up a copy today, or check your local library, mine had it.
1. XYLOPHONE:: not like we have a real one or anything, but one of those plastic kids ones. I'm sure they do/did grace many, many households with small children.
2.XRAY:: I guess technically everyone in our house has had some form of an xray. My husband has had many xrays in his life. The most recent was in 2004 (2005?) when while working he smashed his finger and basically snapped the bone in his finger in half, it was disgusting . I have had my teeth xrayed, never did do anything about those impacted wisdom teeth, I had my ankle xrayed after a car accident while in a friends car, I still don't drive because of it, an one ultrasound when I was pregnant with Mason. Mason has had an MRI, that counts right?? When he was about 4 months old we switched pediatricians, and our new pediatrician though Mason's large head could be more then just a, well large head. She though it could be Hydrocephalus, it wasn't thank God, turns out our boys just has a big head, but I digress.
3.XBOX360:: I have never played in my life. Ever. I plan on keeping it that way. The last video game system I use was the original Sega Genesis.
4.XMAS :: My favorite holiday, though I don't usually shorten it to 'xmas', cause of that whole keeping the Christ in Christmas ♥ .
5.Wait.. I was about to publish this and realized there was no 5, I swore I did one...hmmmm
6.X:: What I always want to be in tic-tac-toe and the best part of xoxo. I know I'm reaching, X's tough!
7.XEROX:: A function I am glad our lexmark printer has, even tough we just call it, copy.
8.XENOPHOBIA:: Xenophobia, according to wikipedia is the fear of strangers/unknown.
9.XAVIER ROBERTS:: Cabbage Patch Kid inventor! I LOVED them! 10.X MARKS THE SPOT:: I'd really love to find some treasure right about now.
11.XANAX:: I need them when I fly. I don't' actually take them, I'm a Dramamine kinda girl.
12.XAPHIAS:: aka Swordfish. I like mine on the grill, and yes I Wikipedia'd that.
Today is my last official day of staycation. I know I technically have the weekend to go, but its really back to the grind in this house! So here is my staycation rewind.
On Saturday morning my parents plane landed in New Orleans (and 25 mins early at that!)Doug, Mason, and I were anxiously awaiting their arrival! Mason LOVES to watch all the planes coming and going and I love an excuse to drink a yummy Sonic Java Chillerr(to all my Jersey peeps, Sonic is NOT that delish, except for the drinks, you are not missing anything special.) Mason ran full speed down the ramp into the "DO NOT ENTER" area of their gate as soon as he spotted them. Saturday we pretty much just hung out at our house while Mason played in the pool, though we did venture out to Louisiana Purchase Kitchen for some lunch. Of course my parents came bearing gifts too! (Of course something Thomas and Friends for Mason. The pork roll is my husband FAVORITE, if you don't know what pork roll is, well I feel sorry for you, Wawa Coffee and TASTYKAKES!!!)
But even more exciting then my parent being here, my sister in law gave birth to her gorgeous baby girl Kylie Rae, 5 weeks early, on Saturday! I'm an AUNT!
Sunday was suppose to be my sister in laws baby shower, but for obvious reasons, it didn't happen! So Doug and I headed to church and we left Mason with my parents, but not before my mom decided we needed a family photo.
For the rest of my parents visit, we relaxed at home, played in the pool, Mason helped my parents do all sorts of cooking, ate at some restaurants, and enjoyed spending time together. My parents are Mason's constant playmate when they are here!.
On Tuesday night after my parents headed back to New Jersey, we took Mason to his first show! We took him to Thomas and Friends! A Circus Comes to Town. He LOVED it! He sang and danced and constantly talks about what happened at the show. I forgot my camera! So here are a few terrible pictures from my cell phone. Notice the $15 light in his hands, yeah we were suckered into buying Mason one, it didn't help that ever other child in the place suckered their parents into one as well!
The rest of the week, we've been laying low and enjoying playing at our own house all day. It might not be as good as a vacation , but I'll take a staycation any day!
1.YOGURT:: I love yogurt. LOVE IT! But I am very picky about what kind of yogurt I will eat. I only like Yoplait Originals. Vanilla is my favorite, especially with some Kashi Go Lean Crunch and fresh strawberries on it. But I really like any fruit yogurt in that brand. MmmMmm.
At 5:30pm today my STAYcation, yes you read that correctly. It is my summer vacation, but we are staying home this year. But thats okay because we have a fun week (actually I have 9 glorious days off!)of things planned. Tomorrow morning my parents plan lands from Philadelphia! Its only been about 2 months since we've seen them this time, but I will soak up every second I have of their semi-short visit! Sunday I am throwing my sister in law's baby shower!!!! I am so very nervous! I want it to go perfect for her! I went into labor at my baby shower,so I've been telling her as much as I cannot wait to meet my niece please try and keep her in there until at least Monday. After my parents head back to New Jersey on Tuesday evening, we will immedietly head over to the Mason's first live show! We are seeing a Thomas the Tank Engine Live performance! Mason has been talking about it for WEEKS! I'll admit I'm a little nervous about how it will go... Then on Wednesday Mason and I have a playdate with another local mama. Thursday, Mason will spend the day with his Grams and Pawpaw (My husband's father's family)while I got help my sister in law get her nursey all set up for the baby and do anything else I can to help her prepare!
So it will be a BUSY week, but a fun week filled with the people we love the most. Minus my brother and our friends and family back in NJ and MA
So my bloggin' my be a bit sporatic for the next week, but I'll have plenty of pictures to share and stories to tell!
I always find the best blogging ideas on my Louisiana homegirl's page. So thank you Kimber for finding the blog of Izzy 'N Emmy and giving me something to do while the kids nap today. Kimber started her's at 'A' and after reading hers, I know I'll end up using too many of the same ones cause its fresh in my mind, so I'm starting at the end and working mah way UP,yes, I'm aware that I typed 'my' like 'mah', I'm just trying to be hip, and I failed. .
1.ZOO:: I LOVE the zoo. Any zoo, anywhere. I spent the better part of Mason's first summer with one of my best friends, pushing our 6 month olds in strollers at the Philadelphia Zoo just to get out of the house. Here in New Orleans, we have the Audubon Zoo, which is very nice as well. We visited it while my parents were here for a visit. ((Here is Mason and his godsister at the Philadelphia Zoo in 2006 and my daddy and Mason at the Audubon Zoo in Oct 2008.))
2.ZIP CODE::I have had 8 different zip codes in my 25 years of life.
3.ZODIAC :: I'm a Scorpio. But I'm not sure if I fit a 'typical' Scorpio description.
4.ZULU:: The name of one Krewe of Mardi Gras. They throw the coveted coconuts!
My Blogger Buddy, Kimber, did this yesterday. Its suppose to be a Top Ten Tuesday, but I am not organized enough to get blogs done on the write days, just ask my *Group Girls* how terrible I am at posting things on the day I have planned to post them. BUT better late then never.
Top Ten Reasons I miss New Jersey
1. My parents and brother live there. Isn't that reason enough??
2. The possibility of a White Christmas. I guess it could snow here on Christmas, but it would be a freak occurrence.
3. Wawa. If you don't know what Wawa is, well I suggest you head to the Philadelphia/South Jersey area and find out
4. Going down the shore. You'd think living on the Gulf of Mexico we'd have beaches.. NOPE, we have swamps.
5. My friends and their kids. Wow I miss them.
6. THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES!!! Watching game on the MLB.com website is not the same.
7. Cheesesteaks, hoagies, pork roll,water ice, bagels, and pizza. *droooling*
8. No huge worries about hurricane season. Sometimes I feel like we are all walking on eggshells down here from about June-Nov. Watching the weather can be nerve wracking, to say the least.
9. Only being 6 hours from my family in Massachusetts. Funny, how 6 hours seemed like a lifetime away when I lived in NJ and now it seems like nothing
10. Lower humidity. I remember complaining about the heat and humidity in NJ, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH I was so naive! It is 65987324092357243 times hotter and more humid here. If you have never been in the deep south in July/August, you have NO idea what hot and humid is, I PROMISE.
Maybe you call them nuks, pacifiers, binks, or paci's in your house. In our house its a binkey.
Yes, I'm guilty. I am a binkey giving mommy. But currently I am a binkey taking away mommy. Mason has been on his final binkey for about 3 months. I told him when it was gone, I wasn't buying anymore. He likes to chew on them and they become, well disgusting. So last night the tip of the binkey finally broke off and the binkey went in the trash can. He was up til almost midnight last night, not fun.
Who knows if I will be strong and not buy another one. Last night he asked me if "santa will bring new binkeys?" How heartbreaking. I was a thumb sucker and shamefully til I was waaay too old to admit here, but I needed to be ready to give it up. I would have been so mad if someone took my thumb away. And like I was, Mason only uses his binkey when he is sleeping, or first waking up. It never leaves the house, unless we or he will be sleeping somewhere else.
Did you have binkey kids? How old where they when they gave it up? How'd you manage?!?
I understand that the price of everything went up after Hurricane Katrina, but if you want to increase the cost of everything from rent to food to utilities, like that nice hurricane charge that appears monthly on my electric bill, well the pay scale needs to be raised as well. How on earth do you expect people to survive making $10-$12/hour or less????? You FORCE us to evacuate when a storm is coming and sit in traffics for hours on end and find a place to stay, while the hotels are jacking up their prices for rooms and everything within 500 miles is booked 5 minutes after evacuation talk, miss work which will equal no pay and when you are barely paying the bills and living off spaghetti o's and canned tuna because you only make $10/hour to begin with.
Well I think its bullshit. I think its unfair when people go to work everyday and put in a hard days work and are not compensated properly for it. I also think its bullshit , that every single honest person in the construction field is constantly getting out bid on jobs by illegals (don't jump down my throat, im all for immigrants being able to reach their 'American Dream', but they need to do it legally, for real) and shifty contractors who do a half ass job.
So change your ways Louisiana (ahem*BobbyJindal*ahem)or you will be losing 3 residents (and probably many, many more) to another state.