How does he love me?

Let me count the ways…

I could list all the things I do for Bill to show him how much I love him, but that would be bragging. I could list all the things I love about him, but maybe on another blog post.

One bit of advice I might give to a married woman (only if asked for advice, of course) is to keep a vision in her head of her husband at his best. This vision will sustain her the 99.9% of the time he isn’t at his best. It is difficult, when angry or upset, to recall to mind nice things about that person who is driving you crazy, so it is a good idea to put into writing that vision, and then refer to it as needed (daily, perhaps).

Here are ways that Bill shows me he loves me. These acts contribute greatly to that vision I have of him, plus I want him to know that I appreciate them, even if I can’t always acknowledge it.

1. He makes the bed.
2. He never complains if he has to hunt for clean socks and underwear.
3. He eats whatever I serve him and is grateful.
4. He swaps his toothbrush head out for mine, so I don’t have to.
5. He never complains about the tidiness (or lack thereof) of the house.
6. When he did laundry after Mary was born, he carefully read and followed directions on all garments to ensure he did a good job.
7. He “pinch hits” frequently with various household chores like the dishes.
8. He takes out the garbage.
9. He brings me the baby in the middle of the night.
10. He re-tucks scared big kids into bed in the middle of the night.
11. He makes me drinks.
12. He immediately goes out to buy me a new microwave when I set the old one on fire.
13. He calls me a saint.
14. He tells me I’m too good for him.
15. He tells me he doesn’t deserve me.
16. He makes his own lunch.
17. He tells me every “bad wife” story he hears so I’ll feel good in comparison.
18. He tells me I’m beautiful.
19. He gives me hugs.
20. He sits with me on my porch swing.
21. He puts together my porch swing, and takes it apart, and puts it back together again after our move as soon as possible.
22. He begs for my attention.
23. He tells me how happy he is that we are married.
24. He rubs my furrowed brow to remind me to smile.
25. He tells me that he can’t live without me, but that he wants me to die first, so that I don’t have to mourn him.
26. He sits with our reluctant student in the evening to help him finish the schoolwork he didn’t finish earlier in the day.
27. He calls me from work just to say he misses me.
28. He emails me things he thinks I would find interesting.
29. He asks my opinion.
30. He listens to my advice.
31. He goes along with my crazy schemes.
32. He welcomes my family for month-long visits.
33. He hangs pictures, curtains, shelves etc with precision and whenever I ask him.
34. He buys me chocolates.
35. He lectures the children if he thinks they are harassing me.
36. He never refuses a request for time without the children.
37. He supports and encourages me in my running.
38. He never complains or questions my spending of money.
39. He doesn’t get mad when I damage the car or get pulled over for speeding.
40. He laughs at my jokes.

Happy birthday, sweetheart. Thank you for everything you do for me and for our children.

Birthday Fun

I hijacked my husband’s blog and made an entry in honor of his birthday, which is tomorrow. Bill turns 40. One of the funniest blog posts I ever saw was when people left made-up stories of their favorite memories of the blogger (I don’t remember who did this). So, please, to say happy birthday to Bill, hop over here and tell him about something that didn’t happen to you two. If you can do it before noon today, it will be even funnier, since he’ll see your comment via email, but will not have access to his blog to see what you are writing about. This is a great day for all you lurkers to leave a comment.

Happy 40th, Bill! Gosh, I remember your 21st when we…
Bill, birthday greetings! Remember that time in NYC…
Bill, did you ever tell Michelle about that time we…
Bill, you and Michelle will have to come over again. I’m still laughing about last Saturday when…

Why I’m So Obsessed with that Darn Lid

I held a pre-dawn couch conclave this morning. Jenny snuggled on my right and Peter on the left. Somehow I managed to sip coffee and skim a book. The baby was exploring, but I had no worries because the basement door was closed. What could she possibly get into?

A moment later my mother’s ears detected a change in her babbling. Just as we learn to distinguish a baby’s cries, and know when something is seriously wrong and we need to respond immediately, so, too, can we tell when a contented baby becomes too happy. Sounds of overwhelming joy from an unattended infant are not normal and require immediate attention.

I ran down the hall and found her, standing at the open toilet, splashing to her heart’s content.


It’s been less than two years, and yet, I had forgotten…

…how much sleep is lost when a baby is teething (that’s okay, sleep is overrated).
…how opinionated a 10 month old can be (as in, no, I don’t want this toy, I want that choking hazard).
…how curious a person this young can be (as in, what’s behind this door?)
…how much memory a baby can have (as in, behind that door are books).
…how much frustration a baby can display (as in, I WAAAAAANT TO GET BEHIND THAT DOOOOR!).
…how persistent an infant can be (yes, she’s still trying to figure out the door).

And, I had forgotten…

…how one or two weeks of sleepless nights will feel like forever until you realize that she’s almost a year old and you wonder how that happened so fast.
…how cute babies are when they do raspberries.
…how a ten month old has a sense of humor and will laugh hard if you do something funny.
…how a baby’s entire body expresses joy, especially when she sees mommy.
…how little hands and arms can hug so tightly and little mouths can kiss so sweetly.

TGI Sunday

I was happy to talk to Bill this afternoon for over an hour. He didn’t get to Mass today. He’s not on American soil, and this morning he wasn’t on an American installation of any kind.

In fact, at 4 am, the loudspeaker outside his room blares prayers in a foreign language.

He’s coming home soon.

My brother-in-law in Iraq gets to attend Mass every other Wednesday. He’s been entrusted with the Host, so they can have a Communion Service on Sundays.

I don’t care how you spend your Sundays, but thank God you have a choice.


I don’t know who took this photo, but I like the way the light is coming in through the window.

And another one with the same kids and more interesting lighting. Again, I only know who didn’t take the photo. And no, Fritz is not always watching the baby.


I despise politics, mainly because it is so messy. I vote, clearly recognizing my civic responsibility. And I pay attention to the issues and the players so that I can make an informed decision because voting without knowing who you are voting for is just as irresponsible as not voting.

But my choice in this fall’s election was decided quite a bit ago. One man thinks abortion is okay and would not even vote to protect the life of children born alive and suffering the wounds of a botched abortion. The other man thinks that life, and our duty to protect it, begins at conception.

Case closed.

But I marveled that I spent all day yesterday checking the news wires for the big announcement. I even checked Drudge, my husband’s favorite site, but one I rarely peruse. The VP candidate won’t change my vote, but he might change the vote of those who don’t pay attention to the issues.

Biden is “Catholic.”

He also possesses gravitas in foreign affairs and comes from a working class background. He’s a really good pick for Obama who needed strengthening in these areas with big pockets of Americans who can’t relate to him.

But it’s the “Catholic” thing that gets me. The only thing worse than a pro-death politician is a pro-death, Catholic politician. I guess it’s good that Congress is closed on Sunday; we wouldn’t want morality to come into play at the office.

Today was a good day to read this homily written before the VP pick was announced. Of course, if a Catholic attends Mass with Biden, it probably won’t make a difference.

Father Farfaglia writes:

The bottom line is this: if abortions continue our country will collapse. If you want America to survive well into the future, we must end abortion. This is the issue.

Are we a better nation than we were 40 or 50 years ago? I’m not one to wax nostalgic, and I very much favor modern technology (like dishwashers and air conditioning and computers). I don’t mean that way. I mean, are we nice to each other? Divorce, child abuse, road rage, and just general courtesy like eye contact with a sales clerk: compared to days gone by, do we treat each other with respect? Why have we changed? It’s not cell phones and text-messaging that have made us self-centered. It’s a general disregard for human life beginning with the killing of our most defenseless members.

And pertinent to the VP pick, although Father Farfaglia didn’t know who that would be when he wrote it:

Everyone recognizes that we are caught in the middle of a culture war here in America. However, at the same time, we find ourselves in the middle of civil war going on right within the Catholic Church. How can we expect good results from the elections if our own Catholics, be they the clergy and the laity, are themselves profoundly divided and even polarized on the most fundamental issues of life? If the Church in America is still struggling with scandalous clergy and rebellious people in the pews, how can the Catholic Church provide the spiritual leadership that is so desperately needed in these chaotic times?

If we cannot recognize and protect an innocent child’s right to live, then there is no point in fussing over any other issue. To worry about Social Security or taxes when a million babies are killed every year would be like a resident of the town of Dachau in the 1930’s thinking the town needed a strong mayor who could take the federal government to task for running and offloading trains at night when people were trying to sleep.

A society that is not completely repulsed by the death of a million children a year has no business being upset at the price of gasoline.

Thanks to Donna-Marie for the homily link.

Doctor Deity

Moving one step closer to godhood.

And, no, this didn’t happen in the Netherlands, it happened in Colorado.

I just wonder how bad it has to get before there is outrage.

Hurdle 1: ignorance (no idea that such things are happening).
Hurdle 2: apathy (it doesn’t affect me).
Hurdle 3: denial (we’re not falling down the slippery slope).
Hurdle 4: acceptance (there’s nothing I can do about it).
Hurdle 5: the new world order (it’s better for us all).

There is no middle ground, folks. Either human life is precious, or it’s not. Once we start equivocating over the beginning and end of life or personhood for others, we will begin to see that scope getting wider. Think I’m being silly? When was the last time you saw a child with Down’s Syndrome, especially compared to how many you saw 20 years ago? Almost all babies diagnosed with Down’s are aborted. The few you might see either missed diagnosis or were lucky enough to have pro-life parents. How long before parents are encouraged to go ahead and have that baby with Down’s so that her kidneys or other organs can be given to another child? Wouldn’t that be such a noble act?

Insanity is…

…doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Like me and cakes, especially if I’m doing the decorating.


As an aside, I must explain that kitchens/food disasters are just a part of my life. The end results are generally good, but it’s the getting there that is often…adventurous.

For example, the house we own in New Jersey came with several pieces of furniture left behind by the previous owner. One was a kitchen table with a metal top on a wood frame. The house was small, and I would often sew at that table in the kitchen. I quickly learned that the frequency of the metal table top matched that of a certain speed of my sewing machine.

For those of you non-science types, let me explain what that means. Have you ever heard of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge? If you want to see some amazing live footage of a bridge collapse, check out this video. What happened with this bridge is one day the winds going through the Narrows exactly matched the frequency of the concrete and steel structure of the bridge. Everything has a frequency, and the wind made the bridge oscillate just like a wave. Cool to see, especially since nobody died.

In my little kitchen, my sewing machine did to my table what the wind did to that bridge. So, what did I do? Nothing. I would sew along on a bouncing table.

One day, I had chili in the crockpot. Did I mention the kitchen was small? I had no counters, so the crockpot was on the kitchen table. I was also sewing. The crockpot was behind the sewing machine, and I was paying it no mind. I got into a groove with whatever project I was working on, and as I got up to speed, the table began to bounce, violently. I continued to sew, and naturally, the crockpot bounced right off, hitting a chair in just the right way to send chili flying from the ceiling to the floor along the wall with my few cabinets and the sink.

However, enough chili stayed in the crockpot that we still ate well for dinner. We just didn’t have leftovers.


Today, for Katie’s birthday, we drove over 3 hours north to visit with friends. I made her a chocolate cake with chocolate icing all from scratch. I made white flowers and she and Jenny and Peter put M&Ms in the centers. It was beautiful. She was so happy.

I told her we should take a picture of it before we put it in the car, because I was doubtful it would get to Pennsylvania in one piece.

I forgot.

I think we were in Delaware when I heard the thud in the way back. It was bad. I salvaged it as best I could, and we ate it anyway. I think the kids called it a “volcano cake.” It was yummy. Ugly, but yummy.

I’ll see if those photos came out tomorrow. After I clean my van.