Thoughts

Big things and small things

Big things and small things

IT’S RETREAT WEEK.

In case you did not sense it, I am very excited to go on my retreat this weekend. I will be flying to see my beautiful friends as we get some much needed rest and spiritual renewal. IT’S RETREAT WEEK! A;JSDLKJF!

Any who, last week was full of big things and small things. It’s funny, something seemingly small like a kiddo getting dressed by himself or a baby signing “more” or a proud kindergartner showing off her desk are actually huge. My children are growing and thriving before my eyes and I could not be more grateful to be their mother. At the same time, as they grow, it seems like I’m being stretched in more directions. They all need me, all the time, even when they don’t think they do. It’s the conundrum of motherhood.

I felt a sense of peace wash over me the past week. I feel like I managed all the ups and downs of the week with my sanity (and a little grace) intact. I am grateful.

So today - I am grateful. And I just wanted to share that.

But on to the juicy stuff. Or the mundane stuff, depending on how you look at it. My gauge of what is interesting is limited to what’s the latest in the dental journal and what is going on with my kids sleeping patterns, ha!

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Hi September!

Hi September!

Happy September the first, I hope your trunks are packed as you head to the Hogwarts express. Or if you’re not en route to Hogwarts, happy regular first day of September. But today is fun because I’m going to show you my Sept monthly spread and last week’s and this week’s spreads and here are some seven “quick” takes.

1) Okay listen, last Sunday, I was typing out a very lengthy seven quick takes/planner week 35 post and DUH DUH DUH something happened with my computer and/or the inter webs and I lost the post. I was so frustrated that I slammed the lid of my laptop shut and sulked like a giant baby.

I’m over it. Clearly.

But as there is no use crying over spilled milk (regular milk, not breast milk because you should cry over that) and no use in crying over lost blog posts, here I am with a new post that will hopefully get to your eyeballs.

(I’ll just periodically save this post just in case.)

2) Last week was insanely busy, in fact, I had a seven day work-week. (Lest you think, I’m a big whiner… dentists typically/traditionally have a four day or fewer work-week because of the high burnout potential. It’s a very physical profession. If you didn’t know that, maybe I’ll punch out a day in the life of a public health dentist post soon. Would anyone want to read that? But, I took an all-day continuing education course last Sunday, had my normal five days, which in and of itself is a lot, then had to go into work yesterday because a doctor called in sick last minute and all of my other doctors were not available.)

WHEW. But I’m going to try to relax today. That is after I corral my kids during mass which truthfully is a work out let me tell ya. And now you probably think all I do is complain so let’s get to the good stuff!

3) I have been looking forward to September since last September because this month is the Blessed Is She writer’s retreat! It’s one of my fav weekends of my year. It’s insanely restorative and life-giving and I just love my girls and Jesus. Last year I was a million weeks pregnant and apparently, you’re not allowed to fly if you have a baby near crowning so I missed the retreat and was super bummed about it. I have high FOMO.

But I am gearing up to travel to the writer’s retreat and I’m going to be giving so many hugs.

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30 things in 30 years

30 things in 30 years

Tomorrow is my birthday! But not just any birthday, my 30th birthday. 🤩

I am still trying to get my head around it but on the eve of my 30th birthday and as I say goodbye to my 20s, I’d like to reflect on some important things I’ve learned.

So without further adieu and in no particular order, here are 30 things I’ve learned in 30 years.

  1. Always save room for dessert.

  2. Don’t play games with people. Be honest and earnest.

  3. Hand written notes, letters, and cards are incredibly meaningful and you should write them often.

  4. You don’t have to explain yourself to strangers on the internet nor do you have to prove anything to them.

  5. No one has the right to your time, your body, your energy, or your skills.

  6. Replace your toothbrush every three months and floss every day.

  7. Advocate for yourself/your children to doctors. You know your body and your children better than anyone. Trust your gut.

  8. At minimum, have a signature meal you can whip up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

  9. Always keep a special beverage on hand for celebrations.

  10. Carry a reusable water bottle around with you.

Keep reading for the rest of the list.

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Checking in!

Checking in!

If you have been following along here for a while, you may have noticed that it’s been quiet around here. This might have been the longest writing hiatus I’ve taken since I started blogging back in 2011 (?). Well, I’ve still been microblogging over at Instagram but I haven’t had the wherewithal to write here in a while.

It’s been a busy, hectic, stressful, anxiety-inducing, joyful, wondrous past few months. Ups, downs, and sideways. I want to try to fill you in on the highlights and lowlights, because I’m all about keeping it real and authentic (gag). 

But if you’re not in for a wordy post here is the tl;dr gist — The kids are good, I’m just okay, but I’m surrounded by support and love.

Now for the meaty bits.

The biggest news is that my anxiety has flared up. It’s been an exceptionally challenging few months. I finally reached out to a mental health provider to start on a plan to get better. I’m still searching for a therapist, but I took the first step in asking for help. Believe me, that was the most challenging part. My husband has been supportive, nurturing, and a true partner in all this. Due to my hectic work schedule and the demands of three small children, I wasn’t finding time for myself to decompress or destress. It finally caught up for me and after a few breakdowns, I said enough was enough. 

It’s still a process obviously and I haven’t found a therapist yet. But there is something cathartic in the initiation, in the beginning, in the relinquishing of my death grip on everything. Knowing and ADMITTING that I am not well and cannot do it on my own has been a first step in management and recovery. I’m no where near “better” (if there is such a thing) but I’ve been doing some things to help. 

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SHINE

SHINE

This past weekend, I traveled to Phoenix for the first Blessed Is She retreat of the year. This year’s theme is SHINE. And it truly did shine. I’ve been spending a few days unpacking the weekend — how God spoke to me, the fruitful conversations I had with other women, the community, and my dear sisters. Not only did I get to spend time with some of my best friends, but I made new relationships with some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met.

While there are many little takeaways from the weekend, there are a few that stand out.

Friendships rooted in Christ can withstand time, distance, and stages of life.

The women I’ve encountered through this ministry are from all over the country. We are in different life stages. We are single or married, a religious or a lay person, we have small kids or kids in college. We have different backgrounds, different ethnicities, different ideas. But we are rooted in the same thing — Christ. That is the firmest foundation of all.

Jesus loves me and He wants me to let Him love on me.

Throughout the weekend, a profound image kept coming to mind. Jesus, staring at my face, into my eyes and just adoring me. He saw past my insecurities, my sins, my failings, my self-doubt, and pierced my soul with His gaze. He wanted me to know that He loves every single cell of my body, every single piece of my being. And He wants me to let Him love me. Instead of turning my gaze away in shame or fear or doubt, He wants me to let Him love me and He wants to shower me with His unending, perfect love. He told me to stop averting my eyes and just His love wash over me in every moment of my day.

Sometimes I need to let it go.

I’m a very methodical and measured person. My days are often planned to the minute. But constantly holding it in and holding it together, is a recipe for failure and pain and anxiety and emotional numbness. Sometimes, I just need to let it go. So I did. I threw my hands up in praise and sang at the top of my lungs. I got down on my knees and worshiped Him without caring who was watching. I wept and laughed and allowed my heart to burst open. I danced. I let loose. I partied. I celebrated. I enjoyed. I indulged. It was like an emotional reset. Letting go is hard for me, but I need to do it. And what better way to let loose than singing His praises then having a couple of Manhattans with my girls?

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