7 Quick Takes Friday - April 29, 2011

Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. Babies! Babies! Babies! In addition to my new nephew Carter (who has his own blog -- click here to see how adorable he is!), and our own bundle of joy, I have a new niece! Adlee Beth was born early Wednesday morning, weighing in at 7lbs 5oz. Big brother Mason and proud parents Bethany (my little sister) & Andrew are thrilled.

2. Is it just me... or is pregnancy contagious in the blogosphere recently? I'm pregnancy buddies with Monica at Celebrating a Simple Life, Joy Beyond the Cross, Nicole at Mom & Then Some (who has TWINS on the way!), and Rebecca at Shoved to Them. Then there's Carla who is "paper pregnant" and is hoping to bring Henry home this summer. I think there may be a few others whom I'm forgetting, too. We are all due in December (well, except Carla -- I hope Henry is home much sooner)! Plus, I found out that one of my friends here in Phoenix (a former co-worker) is also expecting and is due a few days after me. Babies, babies everywhere!

3. Speaking of Nicole from Mom and Then Some, I interviewed her for my latest post at Catholic Phoenix. Thanks, Nicole!!!

4. I'm doing okay symptom-wise. Last week was tough -- nausea and vomiting hit with a vengeance last Thursday night. I truly did fast on Good Friday as I couldn't keep anything down, not even crackers and ginger ale. I called my OB's office and begged for relief, as I really didn't want an ER visit for IV fluids. I went down that road with Elanor and William, and it wasn't fun. Bless their hearts, they called in prescription for generic Zofran. MAGICAL STUFF. It kept me functioning all weekend, which was good because we hosted Easter at our house and my dad was visiting.

I haven't needed a dose for the past few days, so I'm hoping I'm over the worst of the nausea. However, that makes me nervous that something is wrong, so I'm anxiously awaiting my ultrasound on May 10. (Incidentally, Rebecca at Shoved to Them has a marvelous post called Why We Tell regarding early pregnancy announcements.)

That reminds me of my favorite Prayer to Avoid Miscarriage to St. Catherine of Siena (it's her feast day today!):

Humble Virgin and Doctor of the Church, in thirty-three years you achieved great perfection and became the counselor of Popes.

You know the temptations of mothers today as well as the dangers that await unborn infants. Intercede for me that I may avoid miscarriage and bring forth a healthy baby who will become a true child of God. Also pray for all mothers, that they may not resort to abortion but help bring a new life into the world. Amen.

Even though the nausea is less, the first-trimester fatigue has arrived, and that's making things tough. It's all I can do to drag myself to/from work every day, and when I get home all I want to do is collapse and sleep for about 16 hours straight.

5. I'm not obsessed with the royals or anything -- I didn't DVR the wedding because I'm content to look at pictures and watch YouTube clips -- but I have to admit that Kate looks beautiful. I thought her dress was lovely, and modest, too. I hope they have a long and fruitful marriage. I found this prayer while Googling:

Catholic Bishops Conference Prayer for the Royal Wedding

Heavenly Father,
we ask your blessing
upon his Royal Highness, Prince William and Catherine
as they pledge their love for each other in marriage.
May your love unite them through their lives.
Grant them the strength to serve you, our country and the Commonwealth
with integrity and faithfulness.
Through Christ our Lord.

6. Violet has learned to say "No!" and my daycare lady reports that she is also throwing temper tantrums that involve hurling toys in various directions. It's the Terrible Twos and she's barely even 1.... Lord, help us.

7. Can I ask for some prayers for health? Violet's had diarrhea for the last few weeks. We've taken her to the doctor (diagnosis: rotavirus) and have been on the phone with Ask-a-Nurse several times. No matter what we do, it won't go away. She's also vomited occasionally (actually, rather spectacularly at times) and last night William threw up all over me. Sick kids + tired and nauseous mama = tough week.

Easter Joy

Happy Easter! He is risen! I hope all of you had a blessed day.

I have two wonderful pieces of news to share.

1. My stepsister Kari and her husband Garett are the proud adoptive parents of a baby BOY! Carter Garett was born yesterday, 5lbs 13oz. I have a picture and he is just adorable.

2. Collin and I are expecting our own bundle of joy next December. (December 16, officially.) The kids are excited for their new sibling, and we're excited to get a new baby for Christmas! My first ultrasound is May 10, so stay tuned for updates on baby Wahlund's progress.

Lastly, thank you very much to Kelsey at Kreated by Kelsey for the new blog design, just in time for Easter! I absolutely love it! Kelsey was a joy to work with and I highly recommend her to anyone looking for a blog makeover.

Good Friday

O Jesus, Who by reason of Thy burning love for us
hast willed to be crucified
and to shed Thy Most Precious Blood
for the redemption and salvation of our souls,
look down upon us here gathered together
in remembrance of Thy most sorrowful Passion and Death,
fully trusting in Thy mercy;
cleanse us from sin by Thy grace,
sanctify our toil,
give unto us and unto all those who are dear to us our
daily bread,
sweeten our sufferings,
bless our families,
and to the nations so sorely afflicted,
grant Thy peace,
which is the only true peace,
so that by obeying Thy commandments
we may come at last to the glory of heaven.


7 Quick Takes Friday - April 15, 2011

Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. I'm thrilled that I won a blog makeover, courtesy of Michelle at Endless Strength. I'm working with Kelsey at Kreated by Kelsey and I'm very excited about the new design! Stay tuned to see the new look!

2. I prayed for another hour at Planned Parenthood as part of 40 Days for Life on Tuesday afternoon. There were five of us there over the course of the hour. One woman, Brenda, was holding an "I Regret My Abortion" sign, and said she was part of Phoenix's Silent No More outreach. I am in awe of women like her who so bravely bear witness.

There were two disturbing incidences. Soon after we got there, a teenage girl left the facility with a teenage boy. The teenage boy was yelling at her and seemed to be berating her. The PP staffers were walking out with her and looked like they were prepared to intervene if necessary. I had my cell phone out and was ready to call 911 myself. However, she got into a car with him and they left. I couldn't hear what he was saying -- I don't know if he was berating her for going through with the abortion, or for refusing to do so -- but it sounded ugly. I was sorry she left with him. I hope she's okay.

The other was when a pickup truck drove by and some college-age men boys in the back yelled, "Pro-Choice!" and "Abort your babies!" Ugh. They are the kind of people who revel in abortion, because it gives them the "freedom" to be immature and irresponsible -- to be sexually promiscuous and not have to deal with the consequences of engaging in the biological act that is meant to create babies. I hope they'll grow up some day.

But we also had several people in cars honk and give us thumbs-up, so that was nice.

When the next 40 Days for Life campaign rolls around in September (the current one ends April 17), I'm going to try and make a commitment to pray there once a week (dependent on if my work schedule allows).

3. I have a new post up at the Catholic Phoenix blog, called Slavery, Abortion, and Abraham Lincoln.

4. My debit card number was stolen this week. :( Someone used it to buy $20 worth of merchandise at an online pharmacy (the transaction went through) and then tried to use it to buy a $443.47 airline ticket at a travel agency in Great Britain. Thankfully, Chase flagged that transaction as fraudulent, denied it, and contacted me. I'll get the $20 back too after I fill out and return a claim dispute form. But I had to cancel my debit card and am waiting for a new once, which is a huge inconvenience because I don't like to carry cash and hardly anywhere takes checks any more.

I can't figure out how it was stolen -- I'm VERY careful about where I shop online. I think I'll have to check my computers for spyware just in case.

5. We bought Voyage of the Dawn Treader this week! Yay! Haven't watched it yet but will probably do so this weekend. I heard that they are going to make The Magician's Nephew next. I was hoping for The Horse and His Boy, but I'll take what I can get!

6. I found out, to my embarrassment, that Elanor's RE class ends at 7:15 on Monday nights, not 7:30 like I thought. Collin thought it was 7:30, too. Why did they wait until the second-to-last class of the year before telling us that we were arriving 15 minutes late??

7. My dad is coming to visit a week from Saturday (!!). I need to clean my house.

Have a great weekend!

7 Quick Takes Friday - April 8, 2011

Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. As I mentioned earlier this week, I had a very moving experience praying in front of the abortion clinic on Tuesday. I plan to go again this Tuesday. When the fall 40 Days for Life vigil begins, I may try to go once a week.

2. My sign and pro-life magnetic ribbons arrived from Heritage House this week! Once my tags are up for renewal, I plan to get one of AZ's pro-life license plates as well.

3. We are now the proud owners of TRON: Legacy on DVD (Collin went all-out and bought the 4-disc special edition as well as the 2-disc Blu-ray edition of the original TRON). We plan to watch it tonight. I can't wait; I loved that movie! We plan to get Tangled and Voyage of the Dawn Treader, too.

4. Incidentally, Jane Eyre was great. It's probably the best movie adaptation I've seen. Of course, they had to truncate a lot and left out a few of my favorite scenes, but that's the price of a movie version. My favorite overall adaptation is still the BBC miniseries (available for Instant View on Netflix!) with Zelah Clarke and Timothy Dalton.

5. Elanor had "spring pictures" taken at school a few weeks ago. I know it's a big rip-off, but darn it, they ended up being SO ADORABLE. I wish I could get just one 8x10 but I think you have to go for an actual package. Grrr. I may spring for one but I won't be happy abut it.

Violet had her pictures taken last weekend, too. Another big rip-off because I'm sure we won't be able to afford any of the horrendously expensive packages. (We signed up with Our365 -- who did Violet's newborn photos in the hospital -- to get 3 photo sessions at our home... never again. Their CHEAPEST package deal for photos is something like $150. The convenience of having them come to our home is nice, but we can't afford any of the pictures, so what's the point? At least we get a free picture with each session so it's not a total loss.) I should've just went with Wal-Mart like I usually do.

6. I'm currently reading (well, listening the audiobook of) "The Great Divorce" by C.S. Lewis. Here's a quote I found especially memorable: "There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.' All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened."

7. Not too much planned for this weekend... I think we're going to try get some stuff done around the house. I NEED to conquer Mt. Laundry. If I can just get all of it done at once then maybe I can keep up with it afterwards. Or so I tell myself.

Today's prayer vigil at the abortion mill

As I mentioned in my Friday Quick Takes, I prayed outside of the Glendale Planned Parenthood today as part of the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil.

It was an amazing, humbling, Spirit-filled experience. I've done it once before, last year, but I was alone and my prayer time was largely uneventful. Not so this time.

I'd sent out an e-mail to several pro-life friends at my church inviting them to come pray with me, and when I arrived, my friend Patti and her mother were there, along with another Catholic woman named Mary, who was just leaving. She'd been at the clinic for quite a few hours, and someone had thrown a full can of Coke at her. :( Thankfully it didn't hit her, although she got sprayed with some of the soda.

The four of us chatted for a bit and then Mary left. As Patti, her mom, and I were about to begin the Rosary, a car pulled up beside the sidewalk and a man, beaming from ear to ear, stuck his head out of the car window.

"I just wanted to thank you ladies," he said. "I have a four-month-old baby boy and he's alive because I saw y'all praying outside here and it touched me."

We thanked him and he drove off, still smiling. It was a nice start to our vigil!

During the hour we prayed, we saw several girls enter and exit the facility. Some seemed to be in great pain and could barely walk. One girl was carried out by a young man. In the last few minutes we were there, we saw a family pull up in an SUV -- it looked like a 40-something woman, two teenage girls, and a very little girl, maybe three years old. Patti and I were sick at heart that someone would bring a child so young inside that place of death, so we just prayed harder.

Patti later confided in me that a close relative of hers had had an abortion, and that her 16-year-old daughter had recently had a pregnancy scare. (She also has a 9-month-old grandson who was almost aborted, but thankfully his mother changed her mind at the last minute.) Both events had prompted her to jump in her car and head over to the PP when she got my e-mail. I was so grateful for the company, and I hope she can join me again! I plan to go next week as well, and every week until the vigil ends.

(Please pray for Patti and her family, as her relative who had the abortion is making some very destructive life decisions, and Patti is very worried about her.)

I had a handmade sign of my own that said "Women Deserve Better than Abortion" and I noticed that most of the PP customers either took the other driveway out of the facility or, if they went out the driveway by the sidewalk where we were praying, they noticeably averted their eyes so as not to look at us. I hope we gave them something to think about.

The sign I ordered from Heritage House arrived today, so I plan to carry that next time. I'm thinking of going again on Saturday, perhaps with our whole family, to pray some more.

40 Days for Life is truly an amazing ministry. I'm so glad I'm able to take part in it!

Kreated by Kelsey

I'm taking a look at Kelsey's portfolio in order to enter Michelle's giveaway... I love all the funky fonts, fun colors, and scrapbook-y designs!

I've tweaked my own blog template here and there, but I don't really have the time or knowledge to do an intense makeover right now. I'd love a more professional look instead of the rather haphazard thing I've got going now.

Best. Husband. Ever.

Not only did Collin hold down the fort while I went to Jane Eyre all by myself last night -- the movie was great, by the way -- but when I got home, he told me that he had booked me a 1-hour massage today.

So I went. It was heavenly.

After I got home, he asked me to take the kids upstairs to watch a movie so he could mop the floors.

Best. Husband. Ever.

7 Quick Takes Friday - April 1, 2011

Thanks to Jen for hosting.

These will indeed be quick takes as I'm in the middle of an extraordinarily busy day at work, but I need to take a quick break before diving back in.

1. As I mentioned earlier this week, I got a raise on Monday! As my responsibilities have increased significantly since I started 2 years ago, it was nice to get some increased compensation to match.

2. After work today, I get a rare treat -- a night to myself! I'm going to go to the movie theater right by my work and see Jane Eyre. The book is in my top ten list of favorite books of all time, so when this movie started getting favorable reviews, I knew I had to see it. The only theater in the Valley that's still showing it is the one down the street from my work, so Collin said he'd hold down the fort if I wanted to go see it tonight. And so I am! I can't even remember the last time I was at a movie by myself.

3. I'm doing a new project at work that will require me to start working (from home) at 4am once per week (yes, ouch). The upside is that I'll get off work at 1pm, so that'll give me a few hours every week to run errands or clean without kids around. My first day for the 4am work is this Tuesday.

4. Accordingly, I'm going to be praying outside the Glendale, AZ Planned Parenthood with 40 Days for Life from 2pm-3pm on April 5. Anyone want to join me?

5. I ordered 4 pro-life car magnets and a pro-life sign to hold at prayer vigils and marches from Heritage House. I can't wait 'til they arrive!

6. We've decided to take a quick trip to Kartchner Caverns and Tombstone when my dad visits for Easter. He's never been to either. I'm especially looking forward to showing him the Caverns; they're INCREDIBLE.

7. I should probably end with some sort of April Fool's joke, but my tired brain can't think of anything at the moment. Usually I joke that I'm pregnant, but what if it comes true?! :P

Have a great weekend!

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