Monday, April 26, 2010

Wedding Planning-- Good stuff

I have been having so much fun with my daughter making wedding plans!! The other day we met at Sweetwaters Cafe to go over the plans for the flowers. We met at this comfy coffeeshop in the Kerrytown district of Ann Arbor because I wanted Anne to see a really interesting jewelry shop upstairs. We sat at the table next to the window which you can see on the far right of the right photo above. I am so blessed that my daughter is including me in her wedding plans. It's been great! And I think we have the flowers planned within budget! Good times.

Then we went upstairs to Princess Designs. I love this little jewelry shop. All the jewelry is hand made by the owner who runs the store. She has lots of unique designs made with a variety of materials and all very reasonable. I thought Anne might find something she would like for the bridesmaids. Guess what? She found the jewelry for herself for the wedding! It's gorgeous and the owner is custom making one of the pieces. We both felt really comfortable with her. She was willing to give her honest opinion, but only when asked. She was helpful in figuring out what Anne would like and offering suggestions. The pieces are gorgeous. And much less expensive than what I would expect to pay for custom hand made jewelry crafted of these materials. In order to keep the bridal outfit confidential I won't go into more detail until after the wedding. Very successful shopping trip!

Well, it was nearly lunchtime by the time we finished the fun at Princess Designs. Zingerman's Deli is just a block away so we HAD to go there. John lives just a block on the other side of Zingerman's so we called him. Anne left him a message, "Hey, John, come over to Zingerman's. Mom's buying." LOL Needless to say, he joined us. Zingerman's, while a little pricey, has the best sandwiches in the world.

As I sat on the outside patio at Zingerman's I was reminded of having been there over twenty years ago. I had two children at the time, Mike and Anne, and I believe Anne was still a toddler. It was a gorgeous day and my sister was with us. It was peaceful. The kids were running around and Anne was picking up little crumbs of bread and feeding them to the birds. She and Mike were having so much fun, laughing and running. My sister and I were so enjoying being with them. I remember saying to her, "There is not a job in the world that would give me more satisfaction than being able to sit here at Zingerman's watching Annie feed the birds." It was one of those moments where you just thank God for the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom.

And now, here I was, sitting on the same patio, helping her plan her wedding. It brought tears to my eyes.

God is so good. Always.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The New Tree

I know you're probably wondering how I can be so geeked about a little tree.

I don't know. It's about five years old. It was free, because it's between the sidewalk and the street, technically city property.

And I like it. I love the cherry blossoms in Japan and here I now have my very own Japanese cherry blossom tree.

And.....It's starting to bloom little tiny cherry blossoms!!!!

How cool is that? There are now maybe 5 or 6 little blossoms. Life continues. God is good.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Confirmation Pictures

Just after the Confirmation....Joey's mom Mary and her longtime friend, Joey's Godmother Lynn....

Here is Joey (Damien) with his sponsor, my son Mike, and the bishop.

This is one cool dude....

Good friend Mary O. with Mike. Mary had a lovely celebration at her home after the Confirmation.

Mary and Liz...

All those we could find at that moment for a group picture. Back row: My son Mike, hubby Mike, son Jim, and Joe (father of Damien) Front row: yours truly, Mary, Joey's mom, and my daughter Mary.
Good food. Good friends. These times are special.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Prayers for Joey...

We're going to Joey's Confirmation this afternoon. Joey is the son of Mary who sometimes comments on this blog. He is a fine young man from a family that our family holds in high regard. Good kind people. We love them.

Prayers for Joey, please! May Saint Damien of Molokai intercede for him all day today and all the days of his life. May the Holy Spirit pour upon Joey every grace, every gift, and every blessing he wants him to have. (And we know that's a LOT)

God bless you, Joey, today and always!!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tea Party

I went to a tea party last night with my friend Molly. We're both conservative and we both enjoy following politics. Thought we'd see what they're all about.

It was on the U of M diag, of all places. For those of you familiar with Ann Arbor you know that this is the heart of Ann Arbor left wing politics. It's the site of the annual hash bash, for instance. You get the picture.

There were counter protesters-- mostly juvenile elitists trying to disrupt the speakers. Ann Arbor, always patting itself on the back for its love of diversity, is notoriously intolerant of anything conservative. It's almost comical.
So what did I think? I was a little disappointed. Maybe it was just this tea party. There were some great ideas expressed, but there were also some speakers who seemed to be stretching toward the extreme. It had a very libertarian feel. There were also several examples of very careless wording of ideas (that could be misinterpreted) and times when I thought I might not want to be too closely associated with these people.

I don't know. Maybe it's because it's a loosely gathered movement of lots of different types of people. I hope they have the effect of moving the republican party more toward the right, rather than destroying it altogether (by forming a third party.) We'll wait and see. I may attend another one to see if I get a different impression.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's a gorgeous day here in Michigan, blue skies, sunny and warm! You gotta love it! But I am STRESSED. Taxes are not done and we're going to have to file an extension. That makes me nervous. We shouldn't owe anything, so I guess we're OK with the extension.

And we have a new tree!!! Several years ago our tree next to the street died. The city was supposed to replace it but after two years we were not optimistic. But the other day they did and here it is!

My kids are describing it as a scrawny little thing. I replied, "It's a baby tree." I think it's not bad for a newly planted tree. It's probably about eight feet tall. Not bad at all.

It's a cherry tree, a prunus sub autumnalis or autumn cherry tree. Native to Japan, it blooms in the Spring and sometimes again in the autumn! (At least that's what I'm gathering from reading about it.) I'm so excited. I lived for a school year in Japan and I fondly remember those amazing cherry blossoms. I can't wait to see it bloom!
Spring is definitely in swing here, temperatures today to reach the eighties! In typical Michigan fashion our weather now swings between quite chilly and quite warm, as though it can't decide if it should still try to be the tough winter kind or surrender to the sun :-) We know eventually it will surrender and the lovely daffodils in my yard are already counting on it.

God is good. May your day be blessed.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I woke up at 5:30 this morning with a terrible headache. (Yup. Just like this picture Mary made a while ago. )It's a rainy, chilly, overcast day. I don't know if that has anything to do with it. I'm still dragging after Advil and a little coffee.

I think I'm going to take it easy today. Too much pressure in the head to really get anything done. It's kind of a sinus headache. I also think I may need to see my chiropractor because my neck has been a little weird. I know that can give me headaches too.

Rainy day. I think I'm going to try to stay cozy. Maybe take a nap. Do some reading, maybe some writing. Yeah.
God bless your day :-)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oh, man. Busy day. Only had four hours sleep last night so after getting the kids off to school I went back to bed for a while. I just had to.

Then walked the dog, did some dishes, worked on May Crowning plans for our parish, did some laundry, found an Adoration sub for my hour so I could go with daughter Anne to Jim's track meet. God bless Barb.

Heard all about Anne's trip to Atlanta, helped her do her taxes. Went to the track meet. It was freezing cold on those steel bleachers. Had fun seeing Jim run like the wind.

Ate dinner, walked the dog again....

Why is it that when I outline what I've done for a day it never looks like as much on paper as it actually felt. Maybe I'm leaving out little stuff. I don't know.

Hope your day went well. I'm off to prayer time and bed. (and maybe a little fox news :-)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Barbie's Next Career

So the maker of Barbie dolls, Mattel, decided to have girls who visited vote on what should be Barbie's next career....

The choices? architect, anchorwoman, computer engineer, environmentalist, and surgeon

I find myself wondering why these? Clearly social status was in play, as well as a nod to political correctness.

I suppose stay-at-home-mom was not even discussed. Stay-at-home-mom? What a shocking suggestion!!! Would we want our girls to imagine a life of such drudgery, such menial work, a life very near to slavery, and terminal boredom!!! For those who may be new to this blog let me say that my tongue is planted very firmly in my cheek.

For over two decades now I have, in addition to small part-time jobs here and there, primarily lived the vocation of stay-at-home-mom. I LOVE being a SAHM. It's a lot of fun, allows for such creativity, allows me to love my kids to pieces, to make my home a warm and peaceful place for my family (most of the time:-), and most importantly it allows me to be there for my kids when they really need me. I'm here. At home. When they're sick, they stay home and I care for them. I'm at the schools, at the games, at the plays, at the Masses, at the concerts. And it's fascinating. It's fascinating to see these emerging personalities, fascinating to see the gifts developing, the abilities and preferences coming to light, the adult look coming into its own. And what a privilege to be the one to teach them, to show them how to live, how to be responsible, how to love the Lord and treat everyone as their neighbor.

Everyone I know who has lived the life of a SAHM feels the same way. We love it. I can't imagine a job that could be more fun or more satisfying.

And I think Barbie would love it too. That is, if Barbie were married and had children. Wait a minute. I guess Barbie is not married. (Course they could easily marry her off. There could be a pregnant Barbie, etc.) I hadn't thought of that. Maybe they actually thought the SAHM role would be a little bit complicated. And we certainly don't want Barbie to be an unmarried mom at home. Yeah. OK. I guess there is no slight to us stay-at-home-moms. :-) (Although, to be honest, I"m not that fond of Barbie anyway.) If BArbie is unmarried I ought to get off my soapbox, huh? Being a SAHM should not be one of her options.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Just came back yesterday from a fun overnight trip to South Bend where the girls and I visited my oldest son Mike and some good friends! We met Mike and the O'Hannigans for lunch, then visited the bookstore and grotto at Notre Dame. Other than Lourdes France, I don't think there's any place like the grotto at ND.

Went to Mass at the gorgeous Basilica of the Sacred Heart!!

Then we were treated to a delicious pizza dinner with the O'Hannigans complete with delicious bread and chocolate chip cookies!! Mary, you're amazing.

After dinner Mike and his roommate taught us to play the card game "Bang." Lots of confusion, lots of laughs, and just plain fun with old family friends. Good stuff.

Kind of tired now. Trying to get moving but enjoying the reality that this can be an easy day. No school. No appointments. And I do need some rest....

Sunday, April 04, 2010

He Is Risen Indeed!!!!

HappHappy Easter!!!

He Is Risen Indeed!!!!

We went to the Easter Vigil Mass at our parish Christ the King in Ann Arbor. Doors opened at 7:00 for the Mass starting at 8:30 pm. We arrived at 6:45 and there were already about 30 people in line. When they opened the doors we were able to get seats for our whole family, 9 of us, and within about 10 minutes all the seats were taken.

It was a wonderful Mass as the Easter vigil always is. We all love it. And to look down the pew to see ALL of my children, including my future s-i-l, worshipping together... well, for a mother, it just doesn't get much better than that.

This morning, because the weather was so lovely, we had our Easter egg hunt outdoors. Now I realize that all of my children except two are adults. All the adults had the choice of either hiding the eggs or hunting for them. They all chose to hunt. The "Alleluia Egg, " our large gold egg with "Alleluia" written all over it contained "$20.00, and they all knew this. (But I'm sure it had nothing to do with their motivation to participate in the hunt:-)

And so the hunting began.....
Most of the eggs contained candy.
Several had a $2.00 bill or a dollar coin.
Mike and I hid them pretty well, using camouflage, leaves, etc.
I told them every egg was at least partly visible from some angle, but it might not be the angle you're at when you're standing up...
It took them about a half hour and a number of hints to find the "alleluia egg." It was in the dryer vent, still slightly visible if you were at least six or more feet away. The vent is that white one underneath the window on the far right. Eventually Zach found it.
Deep in the daffodils was a great place to hide the yellow ones.

A comparison of the coins....
Then we had an early dinner.
There are several big fans of Strawberry Crush in our family.
And you have to have the delicious bubbly stuff in a champaign glass, don't you think? (This particular crystal one belonged to my grandmother.)
I guess only mothers really understand the deep, deep joy and satisfaction of having everyone at the table.
These are the most important people to me in all the world. From left to right: Liz (my youngest at 13), Jim (18), Anne and her fiance Zach, my oldest, Mike (25), Mike Sr. (hubby of almost 30 years), John(20) and Mary (15).
May the Lord bless and keep them all the days of their lives. I thank the Lord for the tremendous blessing they are to me!!

Happy Easter to you and yours!!!!!