/> Raising Angels: June 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thoughts on Prayer

Nelson is one of the front runners in a national competition in his company. The first prize is very nice and would be very helpful to us. Things were looking very positive until the final day when his competition poured on some last minute sales that no one expected.

It's been the focal point of our prayers over the last few days (more for me and Nelson). The kids pray every day, several times, that "Daddy win his contest." It is very sweet that they will pray on their own. It has also been nice to have something that we are all praying for in unison.

The contest ended Friday and a winner was supposed to be announced Monday. Today they were told it could be the end of the week before the results are announced. So, we continue to pray.

When I called Nelson today to ask if he had heard anything yet, he said he hadn't. I assured him that we would keep praying and that we all love him - win or lose. He said thank you but expressed some concern over the amount of prayer that the kids have put into this. "What if I don't win?" he questioned. "I don't want them to be mad at God for not answering their prayers."

"Well," I told him, "it will be a good lesson for them either way."

Prayer is one of those things I can't think about too much. I mean God knows what's going to happen already. Why do we need to pray? Can we really change God's mind? Still, I pray. I think because prayer is much more about changing our hearts rather than changing God's.

So, no matter the outcome of the contest, the kids will learn something about prayer. They might learn that God hears our prayers and gives us what we want out of the goodness of His heart. On the other hand, they might learn that God's will is not always the same as ours. Either way we know He loves us and wants what's best for us.

And, learning anything at all about God makes the effort worthwhile.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hoping He Doesn't Have the Gift of Prophesy

The other night as I was putting Max in his pajamas, Aiden sat in the rocking chair and asked me how he would know if he was supposed to be a priest. I told him that he should pray and ask God. He immediately bowed his head, squished his eyes closed and folded his hands. I was impressed with his earnestness.

When he raised his head, he let me know that God wanted him to be a cardinal. Well, I thought, at least the boy’s shooting for the stars. I was excited for him but I encouraged him to spend the next 12 to 20 years praying about this some more.

Sunday on the way to church, he let us all know that he had been praying and talking to God some more about this whole vocation thing. “Really,” I asked him curiously, “did you hear him say anything?”

“I did,” he answered excitedly. “He told me that you were going to have a baby in your tummy and it’s going to be twins!”

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Today's Highlight

This morning I ran 5 miles without stopping for the first time since my training last summer. I was estatic. And now...I am sore!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Ah, the sign says it all.
Here we are being just a little silly at Pyramid Lake on an Indian reservation.
I took this picture from the car because this is what it looked like EVERYWHERE we went. It was absolutely beautiful!
In-N-Out burgers were one of the highlights of the trip for me. I'm still thinking about them. So, so yummy!
This place was on the way to Virginia City, where Comstock Lode was discovered. Driving through those mountains and climbing up those cliffs - my heart went out to those early settlers. How they got their families and their stuff up those mountains is beyond me.
Lake Tahoe was breathtaking. It was a wonderful, memorable trip.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Early Lesson

I am not a morning person. Those who have lived with me over the years know this is the understatement of the year. My own husband often has to coax a “Hello” out of me in the early morning hours. Now that I am back in training for the big race, I am once again forced to greet those early morning hours several times a week.

This morning as the alarm went off, I think an audible, involuntary groan found its way out before my hand found the snooze. I rolled over debating the benefits versus the costs.

This morning the voice of a woman in training won out and I was up after only one snooze. The run went well and I came home sweaty and happy. The rest of the day I felt good and the guilty conscience that now comes from missing a training run was silenced.

Thirty minutes of running replaced a full day of regret. There’s a lesson there that’s bigger than training. I’ll let you interpret.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Get By with a Little Help...

Saturday the Half group ran a 5K race to get an accurate time to use for our training. I did not have a good race. My legs felt like bricks at the very beginning of the race, which was not a good sign. I was not able to run the whole thing and finished much slower than my practice run two weeks earlier. When I crossed the finish line I was depressed.

There were a lot of things that factored into that run – the weather was unbearably hot, we had come in a day late with no sleep and no hydration from our trip, and my legs were still pretty sore from the hill workout I got in Reno. But none of that mattered to me Saturday morning.

Consequently, I was not looking forward to the group run of 3 miles tonight. However, this evening I met a girl at the run who just moved into town Saturday. She’s my speed, a mom of 3 and a Catholic. She and my brother, Brian ran with me the whole way. I felt better, ran the whole way and did it faster than Saturday. It was a much better experience.

On the way home I realized that God had done it again. He picked me up when I really needed some help (and a slight attitude adjustment). All I needed was a little support. Yes, I can do it on my own, but why would I want to when I can do it with other people shooting for the same goal?

God puts people in our lives to help us along the way. Some of them know this is their purpose, like our parents and others have no idea, like the girl who ran with me today. The point is that we all need support. Not only does it make the path more tolerable, it makes it fun.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Active Minds Want to Know

Aiden walked into the kitchen hands on hips and asked in exasperation, “Mama, is golf a sport?”


“Why? There is no running!”

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thanks Dad

Today I am grateful:

- for a Bible open on the kitchen table every morning when I woke up for school
- for a cotton candy machine in my very own backyard
- for free hotdogs at grand openings
- for free tennis shoes from the basketball team
- for a chance to play racquetball
and for being there enough to give me so many memories it would take pages to write them all down.

Happy Father’s Day Dad. I love you!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Just a Quick Check-In

This morning I went on a run in the valley of Reno, Nevada surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountains. I have to admit after the warnings to look out for mountain lions and coyotes(I kid you not!), I was a little nervous.

The trails I ran on run behind the neighborhood but they are so far down that you really feel like you're out in the middle of the desert. The sky was blue, the breeze was blowing and there wasn't a soul in sight.

The trail was pretty hilly so I spent a lot of time looking at the path so as to avoid a total wipe out. However, about 5 minutes in I looked up. In the distance I could see the snow-capped mountains and on the hills flowers I've never seen before were in full bloom. There were even a few jack rabbits in the distance. It was truly beautiful.

The thought crossed my mind that if it looked like this at home, I might actually enjoy running. That's quite an attitude change for me.

God spoke to me at that moment. I spend a lot of my time staring at the path at my feet. It is necessary after all for my own safety and the safety of those who might be moving around me. However, if that's the only view I ever see, the road gets long. It makes the run harder and a bit boring. The simple act of changing the view, changes my attitude. Instead of just seeing the here and now, I was taking a look at the bigger picture and it was exquisite.

The experience left me breathless. Of course I think that happened not only because of the beauty, but also because the altitude here is about 5,500 ft.! Either way it made the run totally worth while.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Today I celebrate eleven years of marriage to the man of my dreams, the answer to my prayers, and the father of my children.

Part of what makes it so much fun is that he forces me to go away with him, without the kids once a year (except when there’s a baby involved). Today we’ll leave Max for the first time to make an anniversary trip to Reno to see some friends.

Time away gives us a chance to reconnect. It reminds us what it’s like to give each other undivided attention and why we fell in love in the first place. I think it also makes us better parents.

I can’t wait to spend time with you this week Nelson, but I’m even more excited about what the next eleven years hold for us.

I love you!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pizza Fridays

We've started a summer tradition this year. In an effort to make life less stressful, I thought why not have pizza every Friday night? The kids love it, it's easy to make, and they can help. It's a real winner. It's amazing how such a simple decision has led to so much fun for all of us. I love having the kids helping out in the kitchen. I love not having to hurry. I love not having to think about what’s for dinner. And, I really love hearing the kids say, “Yeah! It’s pizza Friday!”

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


That what I was talking about here really happens.
He's singing, "I get to do the silverware, silverware, silverware. I get to do the silverware and that is my job!" Of course you're getting the extra silly version because I was unable to keep the camera out of sight!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

It's a Hard Life (Somebody's Got to Do It)

I’ve had the computer in my lap for an hour now and I’ve typed two entries that will not be published here. Turns out I’m too tired to wax philosophical tonight. Three hours at the pool followed by two miles in 90 degree heat at my fastest time ever has drained both body and mind. Not bad for a summer’s day’s work.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Happy Work

Today was a day of chores for the kids. We started the morning with Aiden putting away the silverware, Dawson gathering the laundry and Mackenzie sorting it. Beds were made, rooms cleaned, floors vacuumed and laundry folded. Nobody complained. Everyone worked together. It was a thing of beauty.

It did not happen all at the same time of course. There were swimming lessons to be taken and a big back yard to be explored. There were stories to be read and games to be played.

Just for the record, it did not happen perfectly. It did, however, happen happily. I think too often I don’t ask the kids to help because it will take more time and lead to lots of complaining. This summer I vowed to do it anyway. What I was reminded of is that kids want to help. They like responsibility. They sang while they worked!

Tomorrow we will not tackle so much. I’m going to try to find that happy medium of keeping it new and fun, while still getting the job done. And tomorrow, the job will simply be to play together. I hope they sing while we do that too!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Sweet Success

“Hey, nice haircut,” Aiden said rather nonchalantly as I walked in the door.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Writing on the Pavement

Today I ventured to the theater with all the kids to take advantage of the free summer movie series. After that I made a big turkey dinner for us and two other families. I got the turkey carved, meals delivered and kids fed in time to make the weekly prayer meeting...all by myself.

As I pulled into a parking space, I noticed a word painted on the space. At a quick glance I thought the word was “Victory” and even though I was pretty sure that was not what it said, I appreciated the sentiment all the same.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Avoiding Accidental Parenting

Nelson and I have been talking a lot lately about parenting. How are the kids doing? What do we want to do with them over the summer? What are our goals? What do those goals mean? What qualities do we want them to have and how do we encourage the growth of those qualities?

Every question seems to open another one. Every instance seems to beg for us to choose where we stand and to explain why. Every day is an opportunity to grow, shape and mold these little souls.

It's a tad overwhelming at times - the responsibility of it all. It's also exciting. We don’t know what the future holds but we hope with hard work, consistency and perseverance we can give our children the tools they need to take it on.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Travel Prayers

I think that one of my favorite things about running is the drive to the run. Most of the places the training group uses are a good thirty minutes from my house. I know it’s not practical to drive 20 to 30 minutes to run a few miles, but I’ve gotten to where I really enjoy it.

It is, on some days, the longest stretch of true solitude I get. It’s so quiet I can hear myself think and many times I can hear God speak. I usually use the drive to pray the Rosary, listen to Christian music, pray or just listen.

When I was single I had prayer times like this on a regular basis. Being married and having children changed that. It has been a struggle at times to spend time with God at all, let alone a whole car ride, run and return ride. So now I am not only drawn to it, I cherish it.

I believe this tiny choice of my use of my time in the car was what opened the door to last year’s Half being such a spiritual experience for me. This year, I will expect no less.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Yes, I Know, I Was There

Aiden stopped me this evening as he was on his way to the shower totally naked. "Mama," he said with no shame, "you know...I was born this way."