Monday, September 26, 2011

final plug

I just came from one of many shifts I'm working at this sale and y'all, the stuff is GOOD. I'm really impressed with the quality of clothing, the amount of stuff that is new with tags, and the pricing. If there's anything specific you are looking for, feel free to comment or email me and I'll keep my eye out. Ross has used this line previously but said this morning, "what is your saving going to cost us?" Well, m'love, get ready...

Hey guys- this is a wonderful, wonderful consignment sale, put on by the Mothers of Preschoolers group that I co-coordinate. The sale is run by people who LOVE consignment sales and who are incredibly adept at organizing a sale. Come see us!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

We can't have it both ways, folks

Today we woke up to find that Troy Davis, a man convicted of killing a Savannah police officer in 1989, was executed last night in Jackson, GA. This case has caught national attention lately and involves my hometown. I have neither read substantial amounts of the case nor have I educated myself sufficiently on its details, so I won't comment on whether or not I think he was guilty of his crime. I will say, however, that Christians seem to contradict themselves on the issue of "Life." You will find few Catholics and few evangelical Christians who are not against abortion. These passionate people will fight and fight to protect the lives of unborn children. Most of them are good, good people. However, the Catechism of the Catholic Church does not define life as "the unborn." It states,  “Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end…” 

I saw one too many facebook and twitter posts from people who sit in a pew each Sunday using words like "ignorant" and "stupid. " I have seen them in church. I have heard their cries for the unborn. And yet, this man, this Troy Davis, his life doesn't seem to be as important??  
I have about a Kindergarten education on the teachings of the Catholic Church and an even lesser amount on the legal issues in this case. But Pope Benedict's US Envoy sent a letter pleading for Mr. Davis' life.  The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is pretty clear on church teaching on capital punishment. Even pro-death penalty folks like Bob Barr asked for clemency. While what happened to Officer MacPhail may never become clear, it is clear that there is doubt in this case. As I said to a friend on twitter, "we are DEFINITELY going to execute a man that we think MAYBE commited a crime."

And clear or not, it doesn't matter. As people who claim to be pro-life, we CANNOT support Capital Punishment. This presents a billion political problems because you will be hard pressed to find someone who is both pro-life and anti-death penalty running for higher office. But as someone facebooked (though in a different context), I'd rather be spiritually correct than politically correct.

Now, Troy Davis had 22 years of appeals. Many courts have reviewed all of the facts of the case and 99% of the people commenting have not reviewed the facts at all. Officer MacPhail was a father, a brother, a son. His life was stolen. But we are not in the old testament. This  cannot be a case of an eye for an eye. A college friend, John Rue, posed the question, "Would we be making this much noise if Scott Peterson or Timothy McVeigh had a chance at clemency?" This struck me, because my initial thought was, "no, there was clear evidence that proved their guilt." So I am as guilty as any in my own judgement as to who deserves to live and who deserves to die. My church says:

Catholic teaching says that the situations in which the death penalty can be used are “rare, if not practically non-existent.” Wouldn’t cases of heinous crimes, such as 9/11, be examples of the “rare” cases?

The test of whether the death penalty can be used is whether society has alternative ways to protect itself, not how terrible the crime was. Life in prison without parole provides a non-lethal alternative to the death penalty. We can’t know whether God has a purpose for a person’s life, even one who has committed a terrible crime and must spend his or her life behind bars.

So I guess all this rambling is really pointed to those, like me, who believe that life is from conception to natural death. (I could write another blog on the "to" part including the homeless, addicted, mentally ill, lonely, elderly, shut-in, sick). I just worry that as Christians, we sometimes stop with the conception part. We fight, rightfully so, for a child to be born. But then sometimes we stop. We don't protect that child, feed it, clothe it, nurture it and protect it when it grows up to do something awful.

End rambling. Sorry guys.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

a damn good dog

When I met Ross, I knew he had a dog he loved. When I met Monty, he jumped on me and ruined an expensive Free People sweater, making our love affair a little more, well, gradual. He licked and jumped and shed and shed and shed. But somewhere along the way, probably when Mary Kate got a little older, he weaseled his way into my heart. He let our girl climb over him, pull his collar, slap pet him. He cleaned up all the food she threw on the floor, leaving me only to mop. And sadly, it has only been these last 3 days without him, that I realize how good he really was. I miss him. So, so terribly. There is less to do without the constant need to vacuum and one less person to feed. I have gone to the back door twice a day since Monday only to realize there's no one to let out. Mary Kate cranes her head out of her crib each morning, expecting to see her boy. Ross wants another dog pronto. And while I'm a little less eager, I know another shedding, jumping, licking dog will soon be a part of our family. Seeing the hole Monty left, I am happy to welcome another. Rest in peace, Monty boy. Oh how we miss you, so, so much.
The first face MK looks for when she gets out of the crib

A happy day in the park

everyone happy in the grass

an afternoon on the back porch while mom cooks

happiest with his dad

you and your sister ruining a family picture

at the Hinton Center, lounging in the sun

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Take me where you want me to go

I have lived three places in my life. Savannah will always be home and I would say a rosary a day, cook my husband dinner every night and clean tile bathrooms if we could move back there. I adore all things Savannah.

My next home was that ever so classic city, Athens, GA. This weekend, I took Ross back to that home. My heart lurched as we pulled into town, feeling waves of nostalgia, longing and comfort. For seven years, I walked those hills, ate the .50 ice cream cones from Hodgsons and worshipped in a wonderful place. Being back was the most wonderful comfort I've had in a long time.

Thanks to the kinds of friends that small towns bring, all it took was a few phone calls to get great tickets, a perfect parking spot and tailgate spot. It couldn't have been easier. We set up cornhole boards on the Catholic Center lawn, pulled out Cane's (the old Guthries!) fried chicken and began our day long people watching (dear college girls, the saleslady lied to you. That is not a skirt. It is, in fact, a bella band that you have wrapped around your bottom.)  We watched my old, firecracker friend Pam, direct traffic, yelling to the country boy who got on his cb radio asking the cars to move along "hold up, I'm doing business for the Lord!"

Despite the outcome, it was a wonderful game. We stayed with Elizabeth and Ryan and ended the night with midnight hotdogs and terrapin. I didn't think the weekend could get better, though I couldn't wait for Sunday.

Sunday was the day we got to go to Mass, alone, sans baby, at The Catholic Center. The college years were so incredibly formative for me and this place, that center, was the where faith became real for me.  Sitting in Mass, I saw the lecturn that I read scripture from and administered communion from so many Sundays. I saw people who cared for me, nurtured me, loved me. I saw the tabernacle that I sat beside in the middle of one awful night, praying for strength to keep going. I listened to an amazing homily from a priest I cherish, this being the anniversary of 9/11, that challenged us to commemorate the 'event of Christ' each day, rather than the 'event of terror' of that one day. He reminded us that the best way to honor the victims was to daily celebrate Christ alive in each of us and that the "best response to the bad is the practice of the good."

I held back tears the whole Mass, longing, longing, longing to be back in Athens. I wanted to live in this place where you can see friends on opposite sides of town in the same hour, where you can dine exclusively at wonderful local businesses, and where you sit in Mass surrounded by people who know and care for you. "Community" is done so well in that town. We had breakfast with a wonderful retired couple and Fr. Tom before we left town. On the drive home, Ross asked, "why did they love you so much?" After a quick, sarcastic comeback about my overall awesomeness, I told him that this Catholic Center community loved me as well as they loved so many. I wasn't special. Those people, that ministry, is special.

I was a sophomore on 9/11 in Athens. At the time, Fr. Jack told us of a fellow franciscan priest, Fr. Mychal Judge. Fr. Judge was the chaplain of the NY Fire Department and was the first certified fatality of those attacks. This week, on the 10th anniversary, Fr. Tom challenged us to live the prayer of Fr. Judge.

Lord, take me where You want me to go,
let me meet who You want me to meet,
tell me what You want me to say,
and keep me out of Your way.

So after a fantastic weekend in that beautiful city, I am challenging myself to live this prayer of Fr. Judge. We could probably find ways to move to Savannah or Athens if we forced it. But, as the prayer says, "keep me out of your way." I know that if I try to orchestrate our path, no good will come. I will be ever thankful for my upbringing in Savannah and for those oh so important Athens years. But I will not take for granted my precious little family or our community of friends and faith that will only grow in our little burb of Atlanta.



Thursday, September 8, 2011

I felt like a mom

This week Mary Kate has been sick with a virus. Her fevers have been super high, her appetite, super low. She has been fussy and unhappy. But she has also been cuddly. If you've read more than 2 posts on this blog, you know that cuddly is not my child. Even as a tiny baby, she did not curl into you, lay her head on your shoulder or show tenderness to you. Childcare workers at various places have quickly learned that if she is crying, the answer is NOT to pick her up.

Most days, I feel like what the real life of a mom looks like. Words like janitor, nurse, cook, and animal tamer come to mind. But as I was rocking her the other night, without a bottle or a book, just her, just laying her head on my shoulder and letting herself be comforted by her mom, I felt like how I always imagined it would be. I felt like a mom.

It was glorious. I would have given it up in a millisecond for her to feel better and be back to her shenanigans, knowing this cuddly version of my girl isn't really my girl. But I relished being able to comfort her. I relished holding her without her squirming out to find the next dog bone to eat or paper to shred. I relished that something about me comforted her.

showing daddy some of that same love

Monday, September 5, 2011

Come out and see us!

Hey guys- this is a wonderful, wonderful consignment sale, put on by the Mothers of Preschoolers group that I co-coordinate. The sale is run by people who LOVE consignment sales and who are incredibly adept at organizing a sale. Come see us!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Heard of late

Just some things I've heard lately (and of course, my take on them) as we head into the weekend.

Sunshine without the rain is the recipe for a desert. (an arab proverb).

I read this in Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas. I'm not far into the book but can tell you I'll be back with a summary soon. This quote struck me because a few friends are in dry places in their faiths or in hard places with their families/work etc. I know without a doubt that from the darkest times in my faith and in my life have come the most fruit. "Rain" isn't a bad thing. It's essential for new growth.

God cannot be stopped by your stupidity. (assoc pastor at Cumberland church)

Rob is the associate pastor at the church where we hold our MOPS meetings. My co-coordinator and I invited him to speak at our steering meeting this week. This so happened to be the day after one of the hardest parenting days for me thus far. I felt like a big ole fat loser in the mommyhood department and felt sure that MK's college fund needed to be transferred into MK's adult therapy fund. (obviously I can be dramatic but it's not far from the truth.) How wonderful it was to hear that my daily hiccups as a mother cannot stop what God will do in Mary Kate's life. No matter how many mistakes I will make as her mom, someone else is doing the hard work. Praise be!

Mary Susan, you may write on your leg with that marker but not on your shoes! (anon.)

My unnamed friend is the author of that hilarious statement. It makes me giggle.

You is kind. You is smart. You is important. (Abilene)

I could write a whole post on The Help but already wrote a review sometime last year. Plus every woman who has a pulse has read it by now. The movie did not disappoint and I enjoyed it as much as the book. It was heart-breaking and hopeful, sad and wonderful all at the same time. I imagine curling up in the bed with a school-age Mary Kate and reading this book to her at night.

Oh and Happy Happy Birthday to our favorite GrandFATHER Tim! Wish we were in Italy to celebrate with you. Make those youngins' take their older, wiser teacher out for a cold Italian beer!!

I think that's all for now. I am off to read up on college football because if I don't have something to contribute, there will be very little to talk with my husband about for the next four months. P.S. I love January.

Let's hope we're doing this a lot tomorrow night!

don't you wish your tush was this cute?!