Sunday, June 21, 2015

the love of a father and our Father

The love of a father - a mother - a parent, has a whole new depth and meaning to me now that our son Peter is here. More than anything else I have a deeper understanding of the love God has for us as His beloved children. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on that lately. It's an amazing kind of love that fills your heart as a parent. What leaves me speechless is that I know His love is bigger and deeper and stronger and wider than I will ever be capable of in my humanness. It's a love I cannot even begin to fathom. What a gift that He loves us in such a way.

God has abundantly blessed me with a daddy who has shown me an endless amount of love and support my whole life long.

He has given me a father-in-law who welcomed me as if I were his own from the start.

And He has given me an amazing husband who is an absolutely incredible dad to our sweet boy. Truly.

Dads get the short end of the stick appreciation-wise, I think. People are constantly assuming Michael has it easy in comparison to me as Peter's mom, but it's just not true. He has played just as important a role in our son's life. I look forward to celebrating Michael and the gift he is to our family today. 

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. May God bless each of you and all those men who long to be dads, those who miss their dads, those who miss their children, and those who are our spiritual fathers. 

Praying we all might know the deep and everlasting love of our Father today and every day...


{From the archives: My all-time most-read post from last Father's Day.}

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


The number three seems to be showing up a lot of places in my life lately. The Feast of the Most Holy Trinity had me thinking about our triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In March (the third month) we became a family of three. Peter is three months old now (how did that happen?), and today Michael and I celebrate three years of marriage. Three years as husband and wife. Three years of God's grace poured upon us in this beautiful sacrament.
The Gospel reading at our wedding Mass was from John:

Jesus said to his disciples:
"As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
       just as I have kept my Father's commandments
       and remain in his love.

I have told you this so that my joy might be in you
       and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you."

{John 15:9-12}

The way He loves is the way we are called to love. And Jesus gives us this commandment that we may receive His joy - not the joy of this world, but an eternal joy. A joy like no other.

Michael, our joy became a little more complete in this third year as husband and wife. I pray we will continue to grow in joy for the rest of our lives together. Today I renew my commitment to always strive to love you as God loved His Son, and as Jesus loves us. Thank you for loving me even when I fail to do that, and for being so quick to forgive. I am forever grateful you chose me to be your bride.

Happy Anniversary. I love you more than I can say.

      P.S. Just for fun: our two year anniversary post // our love story

Friday, May 8, 2015

7 Quick Takes {no. 39}
On Moms & Motherhood...and a giveaway winner!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! Moms, grandmas, great-grandmas, godmothers, spiritual mothers - there are many forms motherhood can take. While it is my first Mother's Day with our sweet Peter, my first Mother's Day was last year when my heart was aching for our Thomas Gianna. Know that whether your babies are in your arms or in heaven, whether you are blessed with many children or longing for them, you are in my thoughts and prayers this Mother's Day. May God bless each and every one of you. Sweet Momma Mary, pray for us.
{Madonna of the Streets}
Motherhood continues to be quite the adventure. These are sacred days, of that I am certain. Peter is smiling so much more lately, and there is just nothing else quite like it. I can't wait to hear his laugh! His sleep patterns still have us puzzled, but we just take each day (and night) as it comes. It's all very much worth it, of course. My heart has never known such a love. I am so thankful for the gift of being Peter's mom.
{11 days old}

My parents and my in-laws came to visit us just after Peter was born. It was a very special time for me. Words cannot express what it was like to see my own mother holding my son. What a beautiful gift from God. I am so, so grateful to have a mother who has shown me His love my whole life long.
Happy Mother's Day, Momma.

Last year I hosted a Marian linkup, and I wanted to share the link with you here. There are some great reads for this Mother's Day weekend, and in this month of May.

I have to share a couple of great motherhood posts I've read lately:

I so admire the writing of Laura at Mothering Spirit. She wrote a gorgeous piece on motherhood in the first year of a baby's life. It captures so many of my current experiences as a new mom. It's a wonderful read. Don't miss it.

If you're looking for some more momma sweetness, read this letter my friend Kathryn wrote to her one-year-old daughter, Gianna. It's just beautiful. And then you simply must check out Gianna's first birthday party, because it's one of the most fabulous I've ever seen. Kathryn knows how to celebrate!

If you're in need of a last minute Mother's Day gift, be sure to click on over to my etsy shop to check out my downloadable prints. One of them might make a lovely gift for someone you love. Just download, print, and frame (or don't!) for a perfect little piece that will bless and encourage.

Last but not least, the giveaway winner! Thanks so much to each of you lovely ladies who entered. The winner is...Vicki! Congratulations! Be sure to check your e-mail for your prize. 

Linking up my takes with Kelly - thanks for hosting us!

Wishing you a beautiful weekend...

Friday, May 1, 2015

7 Quick Takes {no. 38}
New Mom edition & a GIVEAWAY!

Well, friends, it's my first seven quick takes as a new momma. You can count on some updates, some pictures of my sweet boy, and a little giveaway of this print at the end.

Thank you so much for being here as I try to get back into the swing of blogging a bit more regularly. I really miss this community!

First of all: I am soooo far behind on all my blog reading. What are the best posts you've read lately? What have I missed from you? Fill me in!

In case you missed it, I shared Peter's birth story on the blog earlier this week. Though it admittedly took me several days and many nap times to finish, I really enjoyed writing it all out to commemorate this most momentous occasion in our lives.
For those of you who read about and are praying for our boy's ASD - thank you. We received good news at his checkup yesterday! The hole is now half the size it was at birth, and the doctor anticipates it may close completely on its own. Either way, he should be able to live a healthy life. So many answered prayers! Please join us in praising God for his goodness and in praying for his heart's complete healing. We appreciate it more than I can say.

Life as a mom hard to put into words. It's truly something that no one can prepare you to experience. All at once it is the hardest thing I've ever done and the most wonderful. Those first few weeks were brutal. Especially the sleep deprivation combined with postpartum hormones combined with the steep learning curve of first-time parenthood. YIKES. Eight weeks in I feel like things are finally starting to even out a little bit. The warm spring weather is a welcome change, too. I find it's always nice to get outside, even just for a bit.

I can hardly believe just how fast Peter is growing and changing. Case in point:
4 days old.

1 month old.

Just shy of 2 months old.

Ahh! It's already going by too quickly. My prayer is that I am able to be really present and savor every second. Goodness, do I love that boy.

Amidst all the craziness of life as a new mom, I did manage to put together a little celebration for the feast day of one of my favorite saints, St. Gianna Beretta Molla. You may have seen on instagram that we celebrated with an Italian dinner & dessert, which included bruschetta, spaghetti & meatballs, the best cannolis, and gelato. Yum! 

And speaking of liturgical celebrations - happy Easter! So glad the Easter season is still going strong so I can say that to you all without being completely belated. Peter's first Easter was a special day. We dressed him up in his Sunday best, and he slept like a little angel through the Easter Mass. 
Once we got home from Mass he was ready to eat (as pictured below), and also promptly had a blowout and spit up all over his Easter outfit. At least he waited for us to take some pictures!

Last, but certainly not least - a little Mother's Day giveaway for you!
I am giving away a "Blessed is she who believed" downloadable printable in the color of your choosing {available in pink, eggplant, crimson or black} from my etsy shop, {with joy calligraphy}. This 8x10" printable would make a lovely gift for the special mother(s) in your life {think: mom, grandma, mother-in-law, godmother, one for you, etc.!}. Download may be printed up to three times. This giveaway is open through the end of Thursday, May 7, 2015 and the winner will be announced and receive their prize on Friday, May 8, 2015. Good luck, dear readers!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linking up my takes with many more lovely bloggers! Thanks for hosting us, Kelly.

And thanks again for being here. Wishing you a beautiful May weekend!

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