Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lenten Ideas

For the Eastern Christian Church, Lent begins very soon. Usually, I would know the kind of fasting and additional spiritual excercises to take on because the Church prescribes a fast and gives some boundaries for an appropriate rule. This year, I am not quite sure what to do. I have asked this question of my priest, but he has given me some guidelines, and not a rule necessarily. I was wondering what other people have found as appropriate rules during the Great Fast for times of life like I am in right now.

Should I go meatless and trust God, or is it more important that I get the nutrients in meat for the baby's sake? Beans and rice are a full protein and the Western Rite fast does not remove dairy products, so I won't have to worry about getting enough calcium. I remember Kelly saying that she would make simple meals, instead of trying to cook something fancy for dinner. Simplifying life is defnitely in the Lenten spirit.

My priest has said not to reduce the quantity of food, as is also the Lenten practice. Is there any other way to get similar spiritual benefits that would come with the quantity reduction?

Also, Fr. recommended giving up something outside of food, such as watching movies or going out to dinner. Any ideas here? Maybe the internet when I am not at work. That is an area that I indulge in.
I certainly plan on doing some spring cleanng this Lenten season, cleaning out the home while cleaning out the heart. Cleaning is so healing and so human. We have a lot of extra things around the house- clothes, dvd's, odds and ends, various appliances that we don't necessarily use. I loved Bethany and Evan's "Two Tunic Day" last year, where they went through their house finding things that they didn't need ( the second tunic) and invited their friends over to pick out what they need. So, if anyone needs anything in particular, I will keep the blog updated.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Fun new visual baby tracker

I added another baby tracker. It is on the right side of the page, a little way down.

The picture should change to reflect what the baby looks like (approximately) as the months go by. The website where I got it from also has the tracker for multiples. It is funny to see more than one baby in there because they keep floating into one another.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Living for the Weekend

Well, it is not the best way to live, but it is how things are going right now. I am looking forward to this weekend more than I have looked forward in a long time. This weekend I have no work to do for work, and no work to do for Church. I have some housekeeping activities planned (i.e. laundry, tidying up, etc...), but it truly amazes me how much I want to do those things. I want to have a clean(er) house and everything in good order.

I am also looking forward to this weekend to spend some quality time with Nathan. We both need that very much. We are going to take a walk in Bolsa Chica State Beach (see picture above), and have a quiet breakfast on Main Street in Seal Beach. Bolsa Chica has a nature preserve and FREE parking. I was introduced to the area by my good friend Laurel. Having breakfast in Seal Beach is almost a Saturday ritual, as we are very fond of an Irish pub there called O'Malley's (Some people may have been there with us, as we also enjoy their lunch and dinner selections :) ). It will be lovely.

Then, this Sunday can truly be a day of rest. Church in the morning and noon time, and a nap in the afternoon. I need to be sure to take my naps while I can, as my great-grandma (Nana) pointed out to me today- "The baby is much easier to take care of when it is inside, than when it is out."

So, here is wishing everyone a happy, relaxing weekend.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Valentines Dinner Extravaganza

This past weekend was the St. Michael Church Annual Valentine's Day dinner. It has been a tradition for many, many years. There is always a nice dinner, music and a meditation of some sort on the feast of St. Valentine. St. Valentine's day was established long ago as the memorial of the martyring of St. Valentine. While Valentine was in prison he wrote letters to the faithful, encouraging them in the Christian faith. He would sign the letters, "Love, Your Valentine," as a term of affection.

The past three years, I have been priviledged to organize the Valentine's dinner. (With plenty of helpful hands - and experienced cooks. It really is a thrill for me. I love cooking for big groups and playing hostess. It is hard to go back to accounting after a lovely day in the kitchen with friends. Maybe some day, we will put together a St. Michael's catering company. :)

The pictures are courtesy of Gary McFarlan:

1. Me in the Kitchen
2. Ashleigh and Jeremiah in the Kitchen
3. Aidan and I dancing.
4. V-day cards for everyone to make for their sweetie.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A huge praise!

This week has been great, especially considering what it could have been.

Most people know that I work A LOT, and this time of year is especially bad. I was very nervous this past weekend knowing that I would be moving onto a client that has had a bad history of problems, long nights at works and weekends. This does not jive with an almost 3 month pregnant woman. I prayed a lot about it though, asking God to 1. provide me the strength to endure, 2. provide my supervisors with a measure of compassion when I need it most, and 3. for a relatively uncomplicated audit.

1. So far, I have been feeling much better, feeling sick only after about 7:30pm. I know that this is partially due to where I am at in my pregnancy, leaving the first trimester, but I believe wholeheartedly that it is also due to Grace.

2. The job that I was dreading has not been super demanding. We are working 12 hours a day, but I spoke with my supervisor, who is allowing me to get in at 7am, eat my lunch at my desk, and leave at 7pm at night. (Someone also brings in dinner for the team, so I get fed premium stuff. :) Last night was a salmon salad from Panera and fresh french bread. Its fun to ask a pregnant lady what she wants to eat) These hours may sound bad, but I know that it could be infinitely worse. Also, my supervisor has given me a rather light load. He is a father and reminds me that "stress is not good for the baby." When he said that today, I wanted to cry. Someone cares in this world of high paced business and go, go, go.

3. Only time will tell on the audit. We have just begun.

Praise God who provides for needs both great and small.