Too Little Time for All the Things

I must confess, I wasn’t sure anyone would notice that it’s been a little over four months since my last post. I was actually considering shutting down my blog.  But this week FOUR people on separate occasions asked me if I had stopped blogging. I’ve since reconsidered.  So many things have been going on since last September that most of my spare time was spent elsewhere, and when given a choice between blogging and trying to do all the things, well, let’s just say my priorities shifted for a bit.  Call it temporary insanity.

I’m baaaaack…ready to give you the skinny on what’s been going on.  When we last left off the hubby and I hosted our marriage group for brunch and enjoyed a great morning gathering of friends and food – two of my favorite things.  Fast forward to now and I just returned from Washington, DC, having participated in my first March for Life with about 600,000 other people.  And what happened in-between?  I’m so glad you asked!

First of all, the hubster and I had another grandchild.  Well WE didn’t have it, our son and his wife had their second child, a daughter.  This wasn’t unexpected as we knew of her anticipated arrival in early December, but she decided to make her appearance in late October.  Makayla Marie is our fifth grandchild this side of heaven and she possesses a great deal of beauty and charm for one so small.  My regular granny nanny schedule went into full effect as of the new year, so caring for a two year old and two month old has been quite an adventure. 

I’m always amazed at how quiet the house becomes when there are two children napping peacefully at the same time which happens every once in a great while.  My nanny days are full and fun with these two sisters who get along wonderfully, and we are so thankful that Makayla is healthy and growing so well.

Just prior to Makayla’s birth, my husband’s mother entered a memory care facility after a few of years of gradually declining memory.  The weeks leading up to the event were challenging, but now that she’s in a secure environment and adjusting to the people and living arrangements we are hoping and praying that she will have many days and nights of peace and stability. 

Great grandma and great granddaughter.

With each weekly visit we are blessed to see glimpses of the vibrant and loving person she once was, but there are times when we leave her company that we wished this passage into old age wasn’t so difficult.  My mother-in-law has always been one of the kindest, most selfless, and loving people I have ever known, and in spite of the illness that’s taking her memories, we still see that core beauty radiating from deep within her soul.

In October, a small group of us traveled to Ohio (only four families with thirty people) to visit my niece and nephew at their university for Parents/Alumni/Homecoming Weekend.  It was a few days filled with activities and fun, including the first time I have ever watched a Buffalo Bills football game at a sports bar. 

Mind you, we had to travel from Steubenville, Ohio to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to view it and we were the ONLY table in the whole joint watching our beloved Bills, but we certainly made the most noise in the place.

The holidays were busy as usual – with dinner on Christmas Eve followed by lunch and presents on Christmas Day with the family.  We enjoy sending out our Christmas cards with a picture of us with the grandkids and it took only about fifty takes to get the right shot.

Honestly, though, the one thing that probably kept me away from blogging the most was my other passion – crocheting.  I spent a good amount of time finishing a crocheted blanket for my grandson, JP, who turned four recently.  But now that this project is complete I’ll have more time to write.

Little sister likes the blanket too!

One of my favorite parties from around the holidays was another gathering with our marriage group.  After cooking so many things for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I tried to come up with another different menu, and decided on Mexican food coupled with a crazy idea I saw on Pinterest called a Cocktail Exchange.  Each couple brought a cocktail to share with the group as we ate Mexican and played some hilarious games.

To be exact, we called it our Feliz Navidad-Cocktail Exchange-Game Night.  It was probably my favorite party ever.  These friends really stepped up their game with candied rims for their cocktails, authentic Mexican costume, and great competition during the games.  Can a person have too much fun?  YES!

In the meanwhile I’ve been still trying to figure out the cause of joint pain and swelling that gradually began well over a year ago.  Several doctor appointments and lab work comprised some of my time away from the blog.  The current theory is that I have food intolerances, but I haven’t been able to pinpoint all of them.  Eating a diet that’s gluten-free and milk-free is helping, but not curing me of my pain and swelling.  If I don’t get to the bottom of the mystery soon I will need to begin taking a daily medication (usually given to malaria patients) and remain on it for the foreseeable future.  As you can imagine, I am exhausting every possible path before going down that road.

And would you believe we survived another home renovation? Indeed, we did! We remodeled our full bath.  I am happy to report that compared to our last home renovation project, this one went much more smoothly and the contractor we hired got the job done in nine working days.  Our full bathroom was torn down to the studs and a new one was created piece by piece until the finished product awaited my return from a trip out of town. 

Oh, the joy of taking a hot, soaking bath upon coming home from my trip.

A friend and I traveled to Washington, DC, to participate in the March for Life, an annual rally protesting both the practice and legality of abortion on or around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision issued in 1973 by the United States Supreme Court decriminalizing abortion.  I was truly blessed and overcome by the immense crowds of people gathering together to stand up for life in all forms from conception to natural death.  All ages, and faiths, and even an expressed atheist were standing up for life!

My travels involved many curious situations, but in the end I made it home safely.  Looking to the future I hope to support pro-life events in my diocese, to pray for life, and an end to abortion in our lifetime.  Additionally, and this may seem like a little thing, I have always said that celebrating birthdays is a pro-life activity – it’s my favorite and one that we all participate in regularly. A birthday means that a person has been born and is alive for another year of life – that’s truly something to celebrate. It was an intense two days of travel and activities, I’m glad I went, but was glad to get home.

Phew! I’m exhausted.  How ’bout you?  Well, now you know what’s been keeping me busy doing all the things.  I hope February will slow down just a bit, so I can savor my time with the grandkids and find some balance with doing the activities I love so much.  I feel very blessed by my family, friends, and life, that one of my goals for 2019 is not to take these people and things for granted.  Until next time, I’ll be looking on the sunny side.

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