A Mom For All Seasons

There are plenty of Moms out there…new Moms and veteran Moms, adoptive Moms, foster Moms, grieving Moms, hopeful Moms, spiritual Moms, expecting Moms, GrandMoms and Moms in the trenches of diapers and sleepless nights.

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Attainable Expectations for the Affirmation Junkie

I’m a bit of an affirmation junkie. I like making cool things and I like it even more when I like how they look when I’m finished…and when others tell me they like them too. It’s not a big leap to realize that I like when people like me and when they like the things that I do.

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6 Steps for a Lifelong Confession

Originally published on my secret blog in 2012, 10 years after my lifelong confession

I was speaking with my spiritual director and confessor.  Almost as an afterthought, I told him that sometimes I didn’t feel forgiven, even after confession.  He explained that it was possible to be overscrupulous…but he also mentioned the lifelong confession.

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Will YOU be a Kelly Saint someday?

My friend Mallory commissioned Kelly to draw her portrait

…as a Kelly Saint -in-training.

and here’s why:

…Now, I am wondering, if after I die, I will have a real super saint card, not just a saint in the making card, but a real saint with real holy cards and prayers. Time will tell, but look around you.

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Called to be a brat…in Christ

Sometimes I get a little frustrated with the expectations of my older kids, the assumption that I’m waiting at home just to pick them up and take them somewhere or that I’d like nothing more than to give them the last $20 from an inconvenient cash machine, just so they can go have a little more fun. I get my back up with the sense of entitlement. The what-can-you-do-for-me-now over the how-can-I-help?

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Our Catholic Love Story #WorthRevisit

This article first appeared over at Written By the Finger of God back in 2012!

I thought after celebrating

our 21st Wedding Anniversary this week,

I might reminisce a little…I was a student in a program with little tolerance for Faith or aspirations of virtue beyond artsy experimentation, obscurity and conflict, for the sake of shock value. There were consecutive all-night-ers and professors who took far too much pleasure in announcing “triple f minus” for students marks, with not just a few expletives to further express their unmet expectations for students. That’s right.  One of our profs was just as fierce and expressive as Gordon Ramsay or any of those drill-sergeant tyrants in the most shocking of reality show contests.  This was architecture school, and the prize wasn’t a million dollars; the prize was just making it through with another credit towards a 5 year degree and hopefully holding on to a shred of confidence for surviving the ordeal.Impressed by a handful of people in my program who maintained some connection to Christian Faith, and went to Church regularly, I felt compelled to find some young adults who were grounded in the Catholic Faith. After all, I was Catholic, even if I hadn’t really yet taken ownership of my Faith and couldn’t give a compelling reason for going to Mass consistently.  I returned home for the summer after my second year, and took a chance and went to my first Young Adults meeting at a neighboring parish.I remember waiting in that church hall with a group of others.  We were sitting in chairs, politely smiling and wondering when the meeting was going to start.  Suddenly, Bill walked in, formally dressed from work, with all the confidence and entertainment of a stand-up comic (or maybe an inspirational speaker).  The meeting was now in full motion.  Everyone was suddenly at ease, having fun and laughing.Now, I wasn’t looking for a romantic relationship and when Bill innocently asked me if I’d like one of the ten tickets he had received from work for the circus, I assumed that this was another group event.  When he arrived in his two seater Fiero, (1980’s sportscar that now sits in our driveway, solely for the climbing enjoyment of the kids) to meet only one other couple, I realized that this was essentially a double date. I laughed more in that evening than I had laughed for two years in my architecture program.In fact, I laughed so much that I lost my voice! The circus was fun, but the company was even better. I didn’t suspect that this was more than a fun, entertaining friendship until the ride home.  Suddenly, in the midst of what had been a laugh-filled evening, Bill got serious and explained how important His Catholic Faith was to him.  He was cute, and funny and he was unapologetically Catholic. This could get serious.Within a few short weeks, it was serious.  By the end of that summer, I think we both suspected we would one day get married. The next 8 months we wrote letters as Bill worked and travelled from Toronto and I was in school in Ottawa. Bill sent alot of letters that cheered me on and postcards from places he was working; places we hoped to visit together someday. My letters were usually written within photocopy collages with fragments of photos mixed with parts of my projects.  I saved all of our letters and compiled them into a special scrapbook for our 5th anniversary, before scrapbooking had its’ own aisle at the craft store.After another great summer, I prepared for my fourth year, anticipating my most difficult year yet. I think partially just to remind me of my life outside of architecture school, Bill suggested that we begin planning our wedding for the following summer.Despite the fact that we weren’t officially engaged and couldn’t announce our plans, we met with my pastor who set the date for the following summer! Given that my mom was a part time secretary at the church with full access to the Church calendar where weddings were recorded, this was a daring move!We knew that there were many things that needed to fall in place, and God did in fact take care of all the details.  Bill was admitted to the MBA program at The University of Ottawa, after taking his GMAT. Bill received a leave from work, including a paid contract that would help with our expenses. He received full credit for his already-completed half of his MBA from one university and was transferred to the other university in the same city of my School of Architecture.  Bill also met with my parents the night before we got engaged, but that wasn’t exactly a hurdle as my parents happily accepted him into our family.His travel with work miraculously brought him to the city I was studying in, or cities only an hour away.  He was able to visit me regularly and was happy to help me in any way he could, even if it meant watching me work, driving me around to pick up project supplies and being my ‘glue-boy’, tediously finishing the cardboard edges of whatever model I was working on.We attended a marriage preparation class on the first weekend of my study break in February…minutes after a romantic dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant, where Bill (finally) officially proposed!  We were a half an hour late for our retreat, but we were quickly forgiven when we announced that we had just moments before gotten engaged.We had a beautiful wedding in my home parish……and a wonderful honeymoon in the Keys and Disney, and then returned to prepare for school 5 hours away.We settled into a beautiful little condo…miraculously available for the exact 8 months we needed to finish our degrees.  We went to an awesome parish and further developed some special friendships that are still very important to us today.

It has now been 21 years!  We have 5 children (plus 3 in Heaven).

Bill still makes me (and our kids) laugh everyday.  I rely on him for his even-temper, good nature, people skills, business sense, diplomacy, tutoring of the kids, no matter what subject (he remembers everything he has ever learned!), his ability to get the house under control from clutter and mess, entertain a crowd, act goofy with the kids and turn a near-tantrum (usually the kids’, but sometimes mine) into a (distracted) humorous action-packed adventure.His unwavering Faith and good judgement guide our family and I think we make a great team as we raise all of these kids and run our Catholic family apostolate Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families.

Linked up to #WorthRevisit @ Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb

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Acknowledging the Presence of God in the Home: Architecture Thesis 20th Anniversary

…another venue for the little Wooden Painted Saints: my old Architecture School models that have been kicking around from one basement to the next …for 20 years!

We’re in the midst of a couple family projects and I came across my Architecture School models from my thesis project completed this week in 1995!

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Advent Books: A Eucharistic Christmas

A Eucharistic Christmas: Advent Meditations on the Presence of Christ is a beautiful book of reflections beginning December 1 and spanning to January 6, focusing on the True Presence of Jesus. Each day brings a thoughtful reflection written by a well-known Catholic author, a crisp and clear thought for reflection or challenge and a beautiful, personal prayer to Jesus, present in the Blessed Sacrament.

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Advent Books: The Advent of Christ

The Advent of Christ  Scriptural Reflections to Prepare for Christmas is a beautiful book of reflections by Dr. Edward Sri, perfect to help us prepare for Christmas throughout the season of Advent. Each day contains a short Scriptural reading, a meditation helping us delve deeper into the Christmas story, a question for reflection and a simple but profound prayer to help us keep the focus.

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Advent Books: Let Us Adore Him

With our rich Catholic Liturgical Calendar with our Scriptural readings and Gospel and Communion Antiphons assigned for every Mass throughout the world each day, we have plenty to draw from for prayer and meditation throughout all the Seasons…including Advent!

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