Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Am So Proud To Be A Catholic! :)

I found this off of a note on facebook. It makes me happy! :)

Jewish Sam Miller on Catholics Excerpts of an article written by non-Catholic Sam Miller - a prominent Cleveland Jewish businessman:

"Why would newspapers carry on a vendetta on one of the most important institutions that we have today in the United States , namely the Catholic Church?

Do you know - the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students everyday at the cost to that Church of 10 billion dollars, and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of 18 billion dollars. The graduates go on to graduate studies at the rate of 92%.

The Church has 230 colleges and universities in the U.S. with an enrollment of 700,000 students.

The Catholic Church has a non-profit hospital system of 637 hospitals, which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people - not just Catholics - in the United States today

But the press is vindictive and trying to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. They have blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage.

Let me give you some figures that Catholics should know and remember. For example, 12% of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner; 38% acknowledged other inappropriate sexual contact in a study by the United Methodist Church , 41.8% of clergy women reported unwanted sexual behavior; 17% of laywomen have been sexually harassed.

Meanwhile, 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia. 10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia. This is not a Catholic Problem.

A study of American priests showed that most are happy in the priesthood and find it even better than they had expected, and that most, if given the choice, would choose to be priests again in face of all this obnoxious PR the church has been receiving.

The Catholic Church is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. The agony that Catholics have felt and suffered is not necessarily the fault of the Church. You have been hurt by a small number of wayward priests that have probably been totally weeded out by now.

Walk with your shoulders high and you head higher. Be a proud member of the most important non-governmental agency in the United States . Then remember what Jeremiah said: 'Stand by the roads, and look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it, and find rest for your souls'. Be proud to speak up for your faith with pride and reverence and learn what your Church does for all other religions.

Be proud that you're a Catholic."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Kid's Say The Darndest Things" #8

Miss Marva: So Connor, what do you want to have? A baby sister, or a baby brother?

Connor: I want a brother.

Miss Marva: But, what if you get a baby sister?

Conner (while hiding his face in his hands): I just don't wanna talk about it!!!

Miss Silvia: Alright, boys. You need to eat up.
Josh N: I'm a man!
Maddy: No, I'm a man.
Josh N: (yelling really loudly with a very frustrated look on his face) No, I'm the man!!!!

Josh had us laughing so hard during lunch.

Me: Grady, what in the world happened to your chin, babe?
Grady: Oh, I fell of my bike and then I landed on my face and I hurt my chin.
Me: Oh, baby! Did it hurt? Did you cry a lot.
Grady: Yeah, it hurt... but Miss Teresas, my chin looks so cool now, so it was a good hurt. It was real good.

(Boys and their scars...)

TJ (age 11): Teresa, I fell of my bike once and scraped my leg.
Kevin(age 5, and with hand motions pointing down his leg): Teresa, it looked like this. It went blub blub blub blub all the way down his his leg.

Wren: Where is my mommy?
Ellie: She's at work.
Wren: Why is she at work?
Ellie: Well, why do you think she is at work, Wren?
Wren: uh uh uh uh ummmm ummm ummm money????

"We Weren't Born To Follow"

I have been a Bon Jovi fan since I was probably 12 or so when the song "It's My Life" came out. I remember I would replay that song over and over and over again. For whatever reason, I could not get enough of that song. To this day it is one of my all-time favorite songs. The reason I am talking about this particular band is because I was listening to their newest song they released, entitled, "We Weren't Born To Follow." I like the message in this song, but more specifically the chorus when it says, "We weren't born to follow. Come on and get up off your knees. When life is a bitter pill to swallow. You gotta hold on to what you believe." As a Catholic, I am called to not follow the crowd into whatever the "cool" thing is, but to strike out on a very different path of life, but in a way that will help to inspire others to want to go and follow God's path too. Even if my life gets a little stressful, I need to remember there are people everywhere who I might either encourage or discourage from doing so through the actions I choose to make whether under pressure or not. I need to always remind myself that we never really will know how many people we have affected in our day to day lives...

"We Weren't Born To Follow"
by Bon Jovi

This one goes out to the man who mines for miracles
This one goes out to the ones in need
This one goes out to the sinner and the cynical
This ain't about no apology

This road was paved by the hopeless and the hungry
This road was paved by the winds of change
Walking beside the guilty and the innocent
How will you raise your hand when they call your name?

Yeah, yeah, yeah

We weren't born to follow
Come on and get up off your knees
When life is a bitter pill to swallow
You gotta hold on to what you believe

Believe that the sun will shine tomorrow
And that your saints and sinners bleed
We weren't born to follow
You gotta stand up for what you believe

Let me hear you say yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah

This one's about anyone who does it differently
This one's about the one who cusses and spits
This ain't about our livin' in a fantasy
This ain't about givin' up or givin' in

Yeah, yeah, yeah

We weren't born to follow
Come on and get up off your knees
When life is a bitter pill to swallow
You gotta hold on to what you believe

Believe that the sun will shine tomorrow
And that your saints and sinners bleed
We weren't born to follow
You gotta stand up for what you believe

Let me hear you say yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah
Let me hear you say yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah

We weren't born to follow
Come on and get up off your knees
When life is a bitter pill to swallow
You gotta hold on to what you believe

Believe that the sun will shine tomorrow
And that your saints and sinners bleed
We weren't born to follow
You gotta stand up for what you believe

Let me hear you say yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah
Let me hear you say yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah

We weren't born to follow, oh yeah
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah)
We weren't born to follow, oh yeah
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Participating in Sacraments of Initiation

I had yet another pretty busy week-end to say the least. Yesterday happened to be my second oldest nephew's first communion. It was so adorable watching the kids in their outfits. Sadly, I was not able to pay attention to the whole entire Mass. My older sister asked me if I would take care of my baby nephew so she could be fully present and attentive for her son's first communion, and as if I would say no to holding the baby. I guess though it is appropriate too since I will be officially his Godmother in two weeks. :) I missed out on a good fourth of the Mass though. When I was able to fully pay attention I noticed how much work the the teachers and the children did in preparation for their big day. I am pretty sure each child was able to participate whether it was through reading or bringing up the gifts or singing for it. It was really sweet.

Being the good hopeless romantic person that I am I enjoyed Father's last thing he mentioned before closing the Mass. He told the fathers to keep in mind that the next time they walked their daughters down a church aisle dressed like they were would be when they give them away in marriage. I knew that priest is a softy underneath. It was cute. I am pretty sure all the girls in the church "ahh"ed after he said that.

Today was a bitter-sweet day. It was the last confirmation class of the year. The topic was all about prayer and personal holiness and the speaker did very well. He kept the kids attention which is always a great thing. I was a little sad to know that the next time I see some of the kids will probably not be until the fall. I really have enjoyed my small group this year. I've got some good kids. :) After class was my brother's confirmation rehearsal, and I was his stand-in sponsor. I believe the rehearsal lasted a little over an hour... and that seemed like a very long hour to me. Please keep my brother in your prayers as he will be Confirmed next Sunday. :)

All in all I suppose my week-end was spent in a very cool way... participating in the three different Sacraments of Initiation - Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation, in one way or another.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Success Is Most Definitly About The Journey

“Success. We read books about it, watch infomercials, work really hard to get it, and keep it, and maybe show it off a little. But what is it exactly? The world tells us it’s getting a good job. Making a lot of money. Driving a new car. It’s getting somewhere fast. Knowing someone important. Making something happen. It’s being stylish. Being popular. Being in charge. Or is it something else altogether? Something you can’t quite put your finger on. Something almost impossible to describe. Something different for everyone, depending on who you are, where you are, and when. Poet Matthew Arnold said, ‘Life is not a having and a giving, but a being and becoming.’ This is no secret, but it’s something we’re likely to forget from time to time, especially when the going gets rough, tough, or tiresome. One thing they say is true: Success is a journey. You are on your way.”
~The Secrets of Success~

I like the above quote. For the most part it is very well written... Here in America we all seem to be out for our own personal gain... but if there was something I would add to the above quote it would be that if we want true success then it cannot be found in material things. We have to look to God to point us in the direction that He wants us to take. We have to surrender ourselves to His will, because only through His will, will we ever feel successful and full. Service to God in every way, no matter how great or small, is always fulfilling in the end. Thinking about this makes me remember how when in second grade my mom would teach me religion from the Baltimore Catechism. One of the questions that were really ingrained into my mind was this one. "Why did God make us?" The answer... simple enough to remember. To know, and love, and serve God in this world so that we can be happy with Him in heaven.

"Will you come and follow Me if I but call your name?"

In my hometown, this week-end happens to be known as "the best college week" thanks to the famous Little 500 week. It is the biggest "party" week of the year. Everyone seems to just use it as an excuse to get totally wasted. The students go a little crazy. That is why I was even more excited when the IU Catholic S.L.T. decided to put on another Eucharistic procession during this particular week. In the midst of partying we were able to bring Jesus, in the Blessed Sacrament to those on campus. We took him through the heart of it pretty much... down "frat row" is a nick name for it. There were some who were totally freaked-out by us... As we were praying the rosary, the Divine Mercy
Chaplet, and singing songs I noticed lots and lots of people pull out their cell phones to call their friends about what they were seeing. I glanced in some of the campus windows and saw people just staring out as we were passing. The Franciscan friars were passing out cards which explained what the procession was all about to the people we passed by. Some people took them, some looked at us like we were crazy, a few people would roll up their car windows when the friars were walking by their cars so that they would not have to talk to us. I am sure it was an interesting site to see for a lot of people... especially those who really had no clue about what we were doing and why we were doing it... I think my most memorable moment that made me laugh was when one of the servers went to hand a few guys one of the cards... the server walked up to the fraternity house and this incredibly drunk guy gave him a bear hug... and as the server walked away, he yelled out "So are you like Jewish or something?"

I have to say I am used to walking in March for Life walks. I am used to getting made fun of for standing up for the unborn, but as I walked in the Eucharistic procession it was so much more personal to me when I saw people who did not understand and kind of joked about it to the people around them. It was a humbling experience... I can honestly say I am so happy I was able to be a part of this.

If you look through the pictures below this paragraph I am in the second one. I am the girl with the bright pink shirt with the number 14 on the back... :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Just Keep Swimming..."

"Having once decided to achieve a certain task, achieve it at all costs of tedium and distaste. The gain in self-confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labor is immense."

How true is the above quote. Really there is nothing like the rush you receive after you have finally achieved the goal... after all the stress, hard work, concentration, focus, frustration, and then when you finally reach that goal the feeling of accomplishing it is amazing. You can't really get what you want until you go through the hard work to get there... Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What A Perfect Week-end! :)

"Life is not measured by the amount of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away."
Hey Ya'll! Sorry about the lack of posting, yet again. It seems that this whole past week I have just been a very busy girl. It has been a really busy and fun week-end for me too. I can say I honestly enjoyed every minute of it. :)

Thursday evening my sister and I went out to dinner together. We went to Texas Roadhouse. I received a gift card for there this past Christmas and finally used it. It was delicious. Afterwords she and I rented "The Princess and the Frog," and I really enjoyed it. It was a very cute movie. It was like she and I went back to when we were eight and six and would fight over who got to be the princess in the movie we were watching... I would always win Belle, and she would get Pocahontas... anyway it was a nice night.

Friday I took the day off of work and had some more girl time with my sister. We went out to breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then headed up to Greenwood and Indy for a shopping day. I had a lot of fun and found a number of good deals, so I consider that shopping trip a success. After shopping my sister and I met up with her fiancee and some of his friends for an Indianapolis Indians game. Since my sister works at the hospital she was able to get us free tickets. The hospital had their own pavilion suite thing for the game and so we had free food and drinks to our hearts content while watching the game. I have to say though, I MUCH prefer playing baseball over watching it.... even live. I enjoy football way more.

Saturday morning I went and had my driver's license renewed because it would be my only free Saturday morning left before my birthday a little less than a month away. I can easily say that was my least favorite part of the week-end, but even that was not so bad. After that I headed downtown to spend some time with both my sisters and my baby nephew at the Farmer's Market. It was nice to be with them... just us sisters. I love it when we are able to do things like that together. I was not able to stay too long, however, because I went to meet another group of friends for lunch. My good friend flew into Indy to spend the week-end with us. There were about eight of us that had lunch together and it was so nice to spend time with them. I am relishing these times because very soon I will have to say good-bye to some people I have become incredibly close too. I went home after that and spent my afternoon working-out and laying outside while reading a book. A very relaxing afternoon. Later that night I met back up with some of the same people for a drink at Nick's. A nice way to end a pretty perfect day.

Sunday started off with Mass. My brother and I went out to lunch after and we had a pretty good talk. He can frustrate me so much, but at the same time he is my brother and I have a lot of fun with him when it is just the two of us. We goof-off and it is nice. Later Sunday night I met up with my small group from my Kairos retreat. It was a bitter-sweet night because it is probably the last time we will be able to come together as a small group get-together thing. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with this group of people, and I plan on keeping them in my life for a long while... they are pretty much stuck with me. They just don't know it yet.

I love week-ends that go so smoothly like this one. I think this will make it into my top favorite memories of this spring semester. :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's Time For A Little Baseball!

I am sorry about my lack of posting the past few days. I have been a little busy running around hanging-out with friends and family... celebrating birthday parties and other things like that. I am ready to get back to blogging again, so here I go...

On Wednesday evening I happened to attend my last official "holy" hour of the semester. It was kind of bitter-sweet, since it was our last one. I know that it won't be the last time I see those people, but it was sad that it was our last time in that atmosphere....

On our last night our topic was all about lent, Easter season, and Pentecost. The leader, a friend of mine, happened to use the analogy that those three parts of our year are like the baseball season. Now, at first when she started with that analogy I was not sure where she was going with it, but it actually made a lot of sense. You see, lent is like the preparation time when we are making and choosing our team. We prepare those who are going to become a part of our team while bettering ourselves to help make the team the best it can be by sacrificing the things that we think we need, but really do not need too much of, or even at all, in our lives.

Now Easter and Easter time begins our spring training. During spring training we work as a team. We take what we worked on during lent and try to make them good habits. We uplift those around us by a kind sincere compliment. We show Christ to those around us as much as we can through the actions we choose to do.

Pentecost is the first big game of the regular season (a.k.a. ordinary time). We do our utmost best to make Christ known to others. We try to remember to be on our best behavior at all times since we represent the Church to all those around us. We work hard, but play hard to. There has to be a little fun involved, right?

I give props to my friend for thinking up this little analogy, because it is so true. How many of us Catholics tend to think our time of "sacrificing" is over at Easter. Yes, it is time to celebrate, but that does not mean we should throw all that hard work out the window... So how will you help make our team the best it can be????

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Do Not Want to Miss Out On My Journey

I realized last night while talking to a friend that when it comes to relationships I like to analyze them way to much. I try to take an interaction with someone and break it down into little pieces trying to figure what the other person meant. Most of the time I do this when it comes to a guy I find myself attracted to. I tend to always ask this one particular friend a number of questions about if something a guy says or does could mean more or if I am just trying to read to much into it because that is what I want it to mean. He tends to tell me over and over again that I think to much about things, and if something is supposed to happen or is going to happen it will. He likes to say that a lot to me, and I know in the back of my mind he is right, but that still does not stop me from wondering... I can't help it. It is something I need to work on though. Not getting so worked up over what a guy is thinking. I mean if he likes me enough then eventually he will let me in on that, right? So why worry over it? Cause I am a girl, and that is what girls tend to do. Worry and fret over a guy we like. I am sure though that guys can be the same way when it comes to a girl they like.

Thinking about the whole, sitting back and waiting for things to happen is always so hard for me. Not only with romantic relationships, but also in my day to day relationship with God. I want to break each happening in my life down and try to figure out what God meant by it, when really I do not need to know until the moment He is ready to let me know.

Patience is what it comes down to I suppose. I am a very impatient person in pretty much all the areas in my life except for when it comes to my job. I hate waiting for things to happen, but I wonder if in my haste of wanting to see what is going to happen I am missing out on the journey... the self-discovery. I do not want to miss out on that, so I will keep working on this patience thing.


Gracious God, it’s so hard to wait. To wait for new things to happen in my life. To wait for you to answer my prayers. To wait for the open doors that may lead me into a new way of being. During the time of waiting, it seems that all I can think of is having what it is I am waiting for. At times I feel weary of asking and waiting, and I wonder if you really hear my prayers at all, if you are ignoring me, or if you are simply refusing to give me my heart’s desire. A part of me knows that you want my best, and that your time is not my time, but Lord, it is still so hard to wait. Deepen my trust, O Lord, during the times when my heart longs for what can only come in the fullness of time. Give me a calm assurance that your will for me is grander than anything I could ever imagine. Still my mind and heart in your love so that I am mindful of the grace you are draping around me every single day, every single moment. I ask this for the sake of your love.

Monday, April 12, 2010


The song below is a very sweet love song by Ryan Cabrera. I remember when it first came out how I burnt it on a cd and would put it on replay and just listen to it over and over again... At the time I was a teenage high school girl who was, and still am, a hopeless romantic. I look at the words now and of course I can see how this is a romantic song about a guy who has fallen in love with a girl, but it can easily be another love song written for us from God... The lyrics are just too beautiful... I am tempted to put it on my play list soon.

Ryan Cabrera

I wont talk
I wont breathe
I wont move till you finally see
That you belong with me

You might think I dont look
But deep inside
In the corner of my mind
Im attached to you
Im weak
Its true
Cuz im afraid to know the answer
Do you want me too?
Cuz my heart keeps falling faster

I've waited all my life
To cross this line
To the only thing thats true
So I will not hide
Its time to try
Anything to be with you
All my life I've waited
This is true

You dont know what you do
Everytime you walk into the room
Im afraid to move
Im weak
Its true
Im just scared to know the ending
Do you see me too?
Do you even know u met me?

I've waited all my life to cross this line
To the only thing thats true
So I will not hide
Its time to try anything to be with you
All my life I've waited

This is true

I know when I go ill be on my way to you
The way thats true

I've waited all my life to cross this line
To the only thing thats true
So I will not hide
Its time to try anything to be with you
All my life I've waited

This is true

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Trust. It's More Than Just A Five Letter Word

"You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don't trust enough. "
~Frank Crane~

"We're never so vulnerable than when we trust someone - but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy."
~Walter Anderson~

"To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved."
~George MacDonald~

Trust - 1 a : assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something b : one in which confidence is placed

Trust. A small five letter word, and yet it is such a huge deal.

I am the kind of person that tends to go into every relationship I have had with the idea that until this person does something to prove me wrong, why not trust them? I have found myself end up getting hurt more than once with this kind of view. I mean little things obviously are not going to make me angry. Sometimes I wonder why I always am open to that kind of hurt. If I should change my perspective a little. The more I think about it, the more I realize that if I were to change how I viewed a relationship when it comes to trust, I think I would be a very lonely person.

You see, I have realized that to have people I love dearly I have to be open to the possibility of getting hurt. Love is not something that will make every relationship perfect. Love is actually a scary idea. Letting someone know all the different things about you is a risk in itself because you are trusting that other person to not judge you for your past. You may think you can trust someone to react one way when they learn about a past mistake, but then you let them know and hope that what you thought about that person still holds true. That moment of waiting for their reaction is a very scary moment for anyone.

I am lucky that I do have some very close family members and friends who I can trust. Even though there have been a few times I have found myself hurt because I have opened up to someone, that number is so much smaller than the number of people who have not let me down. I am also blessed to be able to have friends who have put their trust in me and do not regret doing so. Because of this I know that I will not change the way I enter into my relationships because from my point of view it is working pretty well for me. Why change a good thing, right?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Whoever Thinks Alcohol Makes It More Fun Couldn't Be More Wrong

Last night I had a blast! A small group of my friends were going on a camp-out last night out in the country. At first I had no intention of going because everyone was wanting to leave around four thirty, and I do not get off of work till five thirty or so. After work I also made plans to meet some friends for dinner around six to catch-up on life. Not to mention I did not have direction to get to the land where they were. It was not until during dinner, my friend offered me a ride with him if I wanted to go since he knew where this place was, and I happily accepted it. It was somewhat an adventure trying to find the place, but that was part of the fun.

When we arrived I am very glad I thought to grab a flashlight from home, because it was very dark. We had to walk around this big barn in the dark to find the area where the group set-up the bon-fire. The barn itself is really nice. The girl whose land it is says that it is the place for lots of family get-togethers, especially fourth of July ones, and after hanging out in it, it is easy to see why. There was a big screen tv in there, a nice amount of tables, a bathroom, a loft... A very nice facility.

It was fun for me to see how everyone reacted when they realized I came since no one was expecting we. It was so much fun. We had s'mores, went star gazing, played tag in the dark. We also played scattergories, and there was some dancing lessons.

It is so nice to have groups of friends who know how to have fun without pulling out alcohol. I am not saying I don't like a cold beer every now and then, or go out to celebrate a birthday or end of a school semester. I just don't need it all the time to have fun, and it is nice to know that there are so many friends of mine who feel the same way.

It was really nice when the group left to look at the stars and we ended up having a spontaneous group prayer time. Only with my friends would we do that. I always feel in awe of God when I am looking up and see billions of stars up in the sky. I am filled with wonder and it is natural for me to have private conversation time with God while star gazing.

After my friend and I left we went to visit a friend at his house party, and I have to say I much prefer the atmosphere of being out in the country having fun to the one of the house party. Instead of the easy-going joking around kind of fun I enjoy these people were all about getting drunk, and dancing. Opposed to the tango some of us were learning in that barn, the party goers were doing obviously more provocative moves. The house was pretty much filled with cigarette smoke, and no offense to the smokers, but I could hardly breath. The smell of cigarette smoke actually makes me feel very naeseated after awhile, and so I was ready to get a breath of fresh air. While my friend and I were out on the front porch we viewed what could have ended up in a fight because one group of people did not want to pay a cover fee to get in... After about fifteen minutes or so my friend and I were very ready to head-out from that place.

So that was my Friday night... getting to know friends even more while having fun and realizing even more how I am so happy I do not feel the need to "party" to have a good time.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Time To Finally Catch My Breath

I just really love the above picture. It is actually Pope Benedict who is holding up the monstrance. I decided to post it because tonight I had the blessing of being able to attend adoration. I went to it in such a good mood too because I finally heard from a friend of mine who I have been praying about a lot lately. He had been in a very depressed mood and I was seriously starting to worry about him. After a few months of not hearing a thing from him he finally called my family. He is supposed to be my brother's confirmation sponsor so he was calling to check-up on some things. I was so excited when I heard how happy his voice was over the phone. He is in a really good place right now which made my day to finally know.

As I said I was in a mood of thankfulness tonight going into adoration. I find relief while sitting there in reverent silence with so many other young Catholics in the room finding that same kind of solace as I do. What was really neat about tonight's though is that there was a thunderstorm going on outside. It was not a scary one, but a light one. The sound of the rain and the thunder in the background made adoration seem even more peaceful and relaxing.

Another part of adoration that I love is how I feel like I can catch my breath during that time. I sit down and talk to God and during that time it seems as if time kind of stops and freezes after awhile. It is refreshing and rejuvenating.

After adoration was over I looked at a few of my friends and said how much better I felt, and they both laughed at me and said that they were just thinking the exact same thing. I am so blessed to be close to this group where so often we are all thinking the exact same thing. It is kind of weird how much we all have in common. A group of friends like this particular one does not happen so often, and so I am relishing the little time I have left with them before the end of this school year.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Love Life

Another Reason Why Breastfeeding Is So Important

I found this article on yahoo....

Study: Breast-feeding would save lives, money
By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer - Mon Apr 5, 10:53 AM PDT

CHICAGO - The lives of nearly 900 babies would be saved each year, along with billions of dollars, if 90 percent of U.S. women fed their babies breast milk only for the first six months of life, a cost analysis says.
Those startling results, published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics, are only an estimate. But several experts who reviewed the analysis said the methods and conclusions seem sound.
"The health care system has got to be aware that breast-feeding makes a profound difference," said Dr. Ruth Lawrence, who heads the American Academy of Pediatrics' breast-feeding section.
The findings suggest that there are hundreds of deaths and many more costly illnesses each year from health problems that breast-feeding may help prevent. These include stomach viruses, ear infections, asthma, juvenile diabetes, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and even childhood leukemia.
The magnitude of health benefits linked to breast-feeding is vastly underappreciated, said lead author Dr. Melissa Bartick, an internist and instructor at Harvard Medical School. Breast-feeding is sometimes considered a lifestyle choice, but Bartick calls it a public health issue.
Among the benefits: Breast milk contains antibodies that help babies fight infections; it also can affect insulin levels in the blood, which may make breast-fed babies less likely to develop diabetes and obesity.
The analysis studied the prevalence of 10 common childhood illnesses, costs of treating those diseases, including hospitalization, and the level of disease protection other studies have linked with breast-feeding.
The $13 billion in estimated losses due to the low breast-feeding rate includes an economists' calculation partly based on lost potential lifetime wages — $10.56 million per death.
The methods were similar to a widely cited 2001 government report that said $3.6 billion could be saved each year if 50 percent of mothers breast-fed their babies for six months. Medical costs have climbed since then and breast-feeding rates have increased only slightly.
About 43 percent of U.S. mothers do at least some breast-feeding for six months, but only 12 percent follow government guidelines recommending that babies receive only breast milk for six months.
Dr. Larry Gray, a University of Chicago pediatrician, called the analysis compelling and said it's reasonable to strive for 90 percent compliance.
But he also said mothers who don't breast-feed for six months shouldn't be blamed or made to feel guilty, because their jobs and other demands often make it impossible to do so.
"We'd all love as pediatricians to be able to carry this information into the boardrooms by saying we all gain by small changes at the workplace" that encourage breast-feeding, Gray said.
Bartick said there are some encouraging signs. The government's new health care overhaul requires large employers to provide private places for working mothers to pump breast milk. And under a provision enacted April 1 by the Joint Commission, a hospital accrediting agency, hospitals may be evaluated on their efforts to ensure that newborns are fed only breast milk before they're sent home.
The pediatrics academy says babies should be given a chance to start breast-feeding immediately after birth. Bartick said that often doesn't happen, and at many hospitals newborns are offered formula even when their mothers intend to breast-feed.
"Hospital practices need to change to be more in line with evidence-based care," Bartick said. "We really shouldn't be blaming mothers for this."

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Easter With The Family

I am totally exhausted today and I know exactly why that is. Yesterday my house was taken over by over thirty people. My family hosted our extended family get-together this time, and over thirty people came. The majority of them were family members, but there were also a few who were a cousin's boyfriend or girlfriend, or children of the girlfriend/boyfriend, or just good friends of the family. Since I went to Mass the night before I stayed back home to finish up some of the last minute cleaning that needed to be done. I also had fun hiding the easter eggs for the little guys to be able to find.

We had ham, barbequed chicken from the grill, and pulled-pork barbeque sandwiches. We had hashbrown casserole, cheesy broccoli casserole, pasta salad, baked beans, rolls, salad. We had cheese cake, better than sex cake (yes that is the actual name of the cake... it is amazingness!!!)... I am sure there was even more food that that. That is just what I can remember.... Everything I ate was all so good. I totally ruined my diet I think after what I ate yesterday. ha ha.

Anyway, so as I said, we had a lot of people over at our house. My house is not really small. Actually it is a very nice size, it is just that the roomy rooms are all spaced out, and everyone seemed to want to be together. Luckily the weather was gorgeous so that the kids could be outside running around and people could sit outside to eat if they wanted. At one point a group of us girls decided to go hang out in my room away from the crowd and talk about, what else, but boys... Boy problems... boys we like, bad dates... It was some entertaining stuff. Some of the rest of the family would come in every so often, but they never stayed for long.

I had a blast with my family, but I am not going to lie, it was also nice once everyone left and there was silence. I did not even want to turn on music, which is a big thing for me. I went to bed early, but tossed and turned a lot last night, so when I woke up I was still feeling kind of groggy.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Dinner Roll

I stole this off of a friend's facebook note... very sad, but oh so true.

Once upon a time I was invited to the White House for a private dinner with the President.

I am a respected businessman, with a factory that produces memory chips for computers and portable electronics.

There was some talk that my industry was being scrutinized by the administration, but I paid it no mind. I live in a FREE country. There’s nothing that the government can do to me if I’ve broken no laws. My wealth was EARNED honestly, and an invitation to dinner with an American President is an honor.

I checked my coat, was greeted by the Chief of Staff, and joined the President in a yellow dining room.

We sat across from each other at a table draped in white linen. The Great Seal was embossed on the china. Uniformed staff served our dinner.

The meal was served, and I was startled when my waiter suddenly reached out, plucked a dinner roll off my plate and began nibbling it as he walked back to the kitchen..
“Sorry ’bout that,” said the President. “Andrew is very hungry.”

“I don’t appreciate…” I began, but as I looked into the calm brown eyes across from me, I felt immediately guilty and petty. It was just a dinner roll. “Of course,” I concluded, and reached for my glass.

Before I could, however, another waiter reached forward, took the glass away and swallowed the wine in a single gulp. ”And his brother, Eric, is very thirsty,” said the President.

I didn’t say anything. The President is testing my compassion, I thought. I withheld my comments and decided to play along. I don’t want to seem unkind..

My plate was whisked away before I had tasted a bite. “Eric’s children are also quite hungry.” With a lurch, I crashed to the floor. My chair had been pulled out from under me. I stood, brushing myself off angrily, and watched as it was carried from the room. “And their grandmother can’t stand for long.”

I excused myself, smiling outwardly, but inside feeling like a fool. Obviously I had been invited to the White House to be sport for some game. I reached for my coat, to find that it had been taken.

I turned back to the President. “Their grandfather doesn’t like the cold.”

I wanted to shout, “that was my coat!” But again, I looked at the placid smiling face of my host and decided I was being a poor sport. I spread my hands helplessly and chuckled.

Then I felt my hip pocket and realized my wallet was gone. I excused myself and walked to a phone on an elegant side table. I learned shortly that my credit cards had been

“Andrew’s whole family has made bad financial decisions. They haven’t planned for retirement and they need a house. They recently defaulted on a subprime mortgage. I told them they could have your home. They need it more than you do.”

My hands were shaking. I felt faint I stumbled back to the table and knelt on the floor.

The President cheerfully cut his meat, ate his steak, and drank his wine. I lowered my eyes and stared at the small grey circles on the tablecloth that were water drops.

“By the way,” he added, “I have just signed an Executive Order nationalizing your factories.
I’m firing you as head of your business. I’ll be operating the firm now for the benefit of all mankind. There’s a whole bunch of Erics and Andrews out there and they can’t come to you for jobs groveling like beggars…we need to spread YOUR wealth around…”

I looked up. The President dropped his spoon into the empty ramekin which had been his crème Brule. He drained the last drops of his wine. As the table was cleared, he lit a cigarette and leaned back in his chair.

He stared at me. I clung to the edge of the table as if it were a ledge and I were a man hanging over an abyss. I thought of the years behind me, of the life I had lived. The life I had earned with a lifetime of work, risk and struggle.

Why was I punished? How had I allowed it to be taken? What game had I played and lost? I looked across the table and noticed with some surprise that there was no game board between us.

What had I done wrong?

As if answering the unspoken thought, President Obama suddenly cocked his head, locked his empty eyes to mine, and bared a million teeth, chuckling wryly as he folded his hands.

“You should have stopped me at the dinner roll,” he said.

"Lord, Send Out Your Spirit And Renew The Face of The Earth..."

Last night I was able to attend my very favorite Catholic tradition ever, the Easter Vigil Mass. I love entering into the church and it is all dark and the only light in the sanctuary comes from the candles everyone is holding. It is a very intimate feeling. I enjoy that time in the dark while listening to the many readings... ones that are so familiar to me that I know them pretty much backwards and forwards. It feels even more like a family community coming to hear the patriarch of the family telling the stories of our past. It is relaxing and comforting.

The most fun part of the Mass for me is most definitely when the lights come on during the gloria and we can finally enjoy the beautiful flowers which adorn the altar. It is exciting because I know when it is coming, and every single time I still am amazed at how pretty the sanctuary looks once those lights are turned on. Everyone who has a job to do get up and move like busy worker bees getting their jobs done as quickly and nicely as possible.

I was happy to know a number of people coming into the church this year. One whole family became Catholic. What excited me about this particular family the most is the fact that they send both (well only the younger one now because the older is in kindergarten) to my daycare. I was so happy to watch the parents faces after they were all together and I just saw this look of great joy. It was as if to say that they were finally home. It was a tender moment to catch. Another person who came into the church that I know happens to be someone who I know through work as well. His wife was a co-worker of mine. I knew him a little before they became engaged and I was able to attend their wedding. It was nice to see him get baptized and confirmed.

After Mass there was a reception, and boy did they go all out this year. It was like a pitch-in dinner. There was so much delicious food. I enjoyed catching up with some really close friends of mine who I have not seen in quite a while, and who I have missed dearly. It was a happy way to celebrate Easter.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hanging Out on the Roof

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.
~ Anonymous~

A friend hears the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.
~ Anonymous~

"A good friend is my nearest relation."
~Thomas Fuller (1732)~

"We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over."
~ Samuel Johnson~

I love to go out a sit on my roof. Sounds silly I guess, but it is always a lot warmer sitting on the roof rather than on the deck. I go out on my deck and climb over the railing. It is nice because the roof almost meets with the railing where it ends, so climbing over it has never been a problem for a short person like me. I remember growing up how I would have to sneak and do it because whenever my mom would find me up there I would not hear the end of it. Even now I like to go out there when no one knows I am out there. It is another spot of mine I like to use to think and reflect.

While on the roof today I was thinking a lot about my friends, and how much I love them. I thought about how funny it is that we end up choosing the friends we do. We all go around looking for relationships. Bonds. Something familiar in some way. Sure, we like to act like we can do it on our own, but really deep down we all have a need for companionship... So when we meet another person for the first time we ask the same types of questions, those that barely scratch the surface, but just enough to figure out if we have something in common. Something that will help us know if it is worth it enough to eventually let our guard down even more and know it is safe to do...

Most of the time that connection has to do with faith for me, not to say that I do not have friends are are not Catholic, because I do, I have lots, but I have a much closer relationship with those that do share my faith. There is something about going to church together and adoration together and having those relationships centered on God. I feel so much more at home with those people. I know without a doubt that if I need to have something prayed for these friends will tell me that they will pray about it and I know they will and vice versa.

As I sat on the roof I thought about some memories with friends I had not thought about it a long time. Some good times which brought a smile to my face. I am even more blessed to know that the good friends I had growing up as a kid I still keep in contact with. It is funny to me how your friends really do become like your family. I cannot tell you when that moment happens because it is kind of a gradual thing. You start out as acquaintances and somewhere along the line of sharing laughs and tears, triumphs and letdowns, secrets and inside jokes they are no longer friends. Sometimes that bond is stronger for a friend than your own extended family...Granted with every relationship there are up's and downs, but at the end of the day I still know they have my back, and I make sure to remind them I will always have theirs. That is what friends are for afterall!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

"The Night Before Your Death"

This poem is more appropriate for yesterday's Holy week celebration, but I just ran across it today, and I want to share it, so here it is...

The Night Before Your Death

The night before your death, you gather your friends
You wash their feet and teach them
You tell them to love each other as you have loved them
How have you loved them?
They’ll soon see

You break bread and give thanks
You say this is your body given for them
This is your blood soon to be spilled for them
They recline at your feet and adore your mystery
How little do they know your scorching pain
How little do they understand your suffering

You drink with your betrayer calling him friend
You look at him with sorrowful passion
You would give your life so he would give up the sin
Indeed you would do so even if he doesn’t
If only he trembled at your eyes
If only he felt your persistent compassion
If only he doubted his own judgment
If only he queried your merciful intention

You go to the garden, betrayed and misunderstood
You pray in sweat tears and blood
You agonize in acute prescience
You look into the future
You see souls losing their way
You see despair, distrust, blasphemy and hatred
And all this you see despite your death on the tree
You would die for them
Yet they would still go astray
You tremble and cry
You wonder if this could pass you by
For your pure heart cannot stand
The rejection of heartless faithless humans

But for the sake of your Father
You abandoned yourself to whatever might be
At the hour of death God is your only friend
Your only comfort and peace
How little is your loving heart repaid
How little is your grace received
How lonely is God Almighty
All for the sake of love
For love you would endure anything and everything
For love you would chance rejection
Even if thousands mock you
If one soul loves you back you would on the cross be glad

You look at your friends, who are weary with sleep
You tell them to pray so to be strengthened
How your heart bursts with passion
How you long to share with them your interior action
Yet they are still children
They’ll have a lot to learn
You look at them with the love of a parent
You’ll hide them under your wings
You’ll anticipate them with patience

How much kindness and virtue
How pure your love and sacrifice
Intelligent angels cannot understand
But hearts of humans will be won

The night before your death
Your sorrow is greater than death
The depth of your mercy no one can fathom

Eternal night
The night before the Savior’s death
Eternal agony
The agony that purchased our lives
Eternal moment
The moment you said yes
Eternal drama
The drama that would purify your lambs

The night before your death
We shall always remember
We shall tremble and repent in awe

My Holy Thursday Evening

Today is Holy Thursday, as every Catholic should know. I spent quite a bit of time tonight remembering how I acted on this day last year versus this year. Last year on Holy Thursday I made some really really bad choices and ended up with the worst hang-over I have ever gotten in my life... whereas this year I spent it by going to not one, but two Masses and then a friend of mine's play he directed, "Agnes of God," after which the group all went to Taco Bell for some catching-up time.

It was interesting for me to attend two different Masses tonight... well actually I should say one and a third of another. You see I went to Mass at my home parish, which was done beautifully. After a few minutes spent with Jesus I immediately left to meet friends of mine at the other Catholic parish in town. While walking into the building I happened to notice my nose started to bleed and immediately headed for the bathroom. I texted a friend saying I would be out and we can leave for the play a.s.a.p.. Well my nose finally stopped bleeding and I walked out of the bathroom where I became very confused because everyone in the church was moving in a procession, and then I realized it was a Eucharistic procession, so I decided to go along with the crowd. It was very solemn and the latin hymns were sung beautifully as we walked around outside to the back entrance where we made our way back inside. It was very nice to be a part of it... and a nice surprise for me too...

After Mass my friends and I immediately got into cars and drove to watch my friend's play, "Agnes of God." For those of you who have never heard of this play I have to say it is a very interesting plot line. It is about a young nun, Agnes, is discovered, her body covered with blood, having just given birth. Her baby is found dead in the same convent room strangled by the umbilical cord. Dr. Martha Livingstone, a court-appointed psychiatrist, is brought in to
examine Agnes and determine whether or not she is fit to stand trial. Mother Miriam Ruth, the nun in charge of the convent, wishes to protect Agnes’ innocence throughout the interview process. Before and after Agnes’ sessions with the psychiatrist, Mother Miriam and Dr. Livingstone debate what is best for Agnes. During their discussions, Agnes’ life before she came to the convent becomes a central topic in trying to understand her innocence and beliefs. Dr. Livingstone also investigates Mother Miriam Ruth’s role in the events once she discovers Mother Ruth was present at the birth of the baby and had known previously about Agnes’ pregnancy. Throughout these exchanges, Dr. Livingstone questions Mother Miriam about earlier events in Agnes’ life. In the end it is revealed that Agnes was the one who killed her baby in an effort to “return the child to God.” I think it was tastefully done, and there are a number of Catholic humorous parts in the first half of the play. The second half is a lot more serious as the whole understanding of what really happened on the night the baby was born is unraveled. I highly recommend it to anyone if they ever happen to get a chance to see it.

All in all I think it was a nice Catholic evening spent for me. :)