Thursday, December 29, 2011

Music Minute: Glitter In The Air ~ P!nk

Accidentally came across this song today.....loved it. Had to share it. Weird how music speaks to me....

~



~

Have you ever fed a lover with just your hands?
Close your eyes and trust it, just trust it
Have you ever thrown a fist full of glitter in the air?
Have you ever looked fear in the face and said I just don't care?
It's only half past the point of no return
The tip of the iceberg, the sun before the burn
The thunder before lightning, the breath before the phrase
Have you ever felt this way?

Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone?
Your whole life waiting on the ring to prove you're not alone
Have you ever been touched so gently you had to cry?
Have you ever invited a stranger to come inside?

It's only half past the point of oblivion
The hourglass on the table, the walk before the run
The breath before the kiss and the fear before the flames
Have you ever felt this way?

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
There you are, sitting in the garden
Clutching my coffee, calling me sugar
You called me sugar

~

x

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Human Condition

"Every day I make an effort to go towards what I don't understand"
 ~ Yo Yo Ma ~

My friend, Sunday Jeans, posted that as her Facebook status today. I read it and thought, "Yep, that's me."

That's also Sunday.  We're like peanut butter and chocolate that way.  I love that Sunday 'gets' me in a special way. She and I are a lot alike, as we have extremely similar upbringings -- facets about our childhood, specifically our formative years, that we struggle with in adulthood.  We also tend to use academics to help us with our emotions and the emotions of others.  We tend to cope with emotions in a clinical manner. 

I am a psychology major, though I cannot list the great psychological minds of history. I cannot recite to you theories and psychologists if you paid me a million dollars. I know who you know: Freud, Piaget, Pavlov. I know bits and pieces, enough to sound intelligent and carry a conversation at a dinner party. I know enough to influence the way I parent sometimes. I know enough, but always willing to learn more. What I know isn't absolute. It is moveable. I can be -- and have been on PLENTY of occasions -- wrong.

To tell someone I study psychology is risky.  In terms of interpersonal/intimate relationships I'm told, "don't give me that psychobabble", "you're doing reverse psychology on me", "quit playing psychologist" or "you're playing mind games with me".  It also is amazing to walk through life with this particular interest because it lends itself to the deepest depths and richest, limitless value in life, people, relationships: "someone finally understands", "I never thought of it like that", "I miss your 'unconditional'", "I can't tell anyone else this...". Frequent words spoken to me by friends and aquaintances: "evaluate me", "tell me what you see in me", "can you tell me what my issues are?".  All compliments for sure, and for which I gratefully accept.  That deep depth and life richness helps me endure the harshness of the other.
Psychology as a study, taken as a whole, is tricky soft science.  The Powers That Be and Society At Large, tries to "universalize" the human condition, meaning, compartmentalize or categorize in order to make predictions. It's a science that bleeds into all other sciences, except maybe the hard sciences. The hard sciences, though, even have a faction of studies where psychology and physics meet -- you know, "if you set your mind to it, you can change it" and that process of actual thought is measurable because brain waves are physical.  (I don't get it either.....*laughing*)

Telling someone I'm a student of psychology means that person is on sentry.  Guard goes up in a unique way. It isn't like the guard one posts when meeting new people at a party, or early dating life, or in I-am-only-here-by-force guard.  No. It's different. There's this conscious wonder that I can SEE. S/He wonders how I'm assessing, evaluating, studying, measuring. Being able to feel this tension makes me sad.  It is never my intention to make you feel invaded. Rest assured, I don't do any of that. I am like you -- I make the same judgements on first impressions or look at situations and filter information. I'm not interested in playing head games with anyone. I've been on that side of the relationship and I've been damaged.

More personally, being in a relationship with me can be very easy or very complicated -- so I'm told. I doubt this is unusual for any of us, truthfully. You've probably heard that about yourself and said it about someone else.  The fact of the matter is, we all cross wires.  In intimate relationships, especially, I am told I'm "clinical" or "academic" when dealing with emotional issues. I suppose there's a truth to that statement, and it would be fair to say that it's a defense or coping mechanism of sorts.  Because I believe in becoming a better person each day, I do expect you to do it too.  But even I need a break from progression, as do you. Being still is needed.

I have no plans to ever become a psychologist at any level, which explains why my retention of rote facts about psychology is poor.  The main reason I became interested in the study of human behavior is because I want to understand my own suffering.  I want to understand my own behavior(s).  I want to be able to understand others similarly.  I want to progress as a person. Why? So I could love better, and be loved better. 

What I extrapolate from studying psychology is simply, the human condition, more specifically YOUR humanness as it unfolds in the experience of our relationship, and MY humanness as it unfolds in the experience of our relationship.

Sure, I throw out words like "validated", "formative years", "co-dependent", "addictive", "family of origin".  I also use words like "I love you" to almost every one.  I use "I understand", "I can accept that", "I want to understand", "help me understand", "thank you", "you're amazing" and many, many bolstering words.  I have grown in my ability to love others.  I've grown in my ability to be loved.  I've grown in the self-love aspect of my being, as well.  Of COURSE I still struggle with all of these things daily.  I've certainly had my inner and outer tantrums about not being given a 40th birthday party, missing out on concerts or social events because of xyz, wishing I was somewhere else or with someone else. I still daydream about single life, travelling abroad, wanting MORE out of my life.  Even though I feel unsettled or unhappy, but I continue to find hope and I continue to place faith in growth.  I look to forgive and seek forgiveness. I look for worth and need to feel worthy. I used to think of that as a weakness, and sometimes I still do. But it isn't. Everyone needs to feel like they matter.

In the end, isn't about the people? Isn't our life about who we touch and how we are touched by others? Isn't our precious time on earth meant to be to reconcile one another? There's no entitlement, no promise of pure joy and happiness. But what we have are the gifts of each other and the gifts within ourselves to offer, selflessly.

So, I offer a lifetime of apologies for the times I've ever made you feel judged, unaccepted, rejected, less than.  I'm doing the best I can. It's not any better than you are. It's not any worse. I am just me -- just Jackie, and I love you.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Christmas

I was ahead this year.....till I became behind.

Seriously, how does it happen?

I really don't feel happy this time of year. I'm sad that I feel unhappy about it. Yeah, THAT snowball (pun?).

I try to focus on the reason Christmas even exists:  Christ.

I receive joy in events such as Boa singing in the choir, the home-made ornaments, the tree shopping. 

I do not enjoy the pressure of gifts -- receiving and giving.  I feel unorganized and therefore don't get packages in the mail on time, nor do I plan enough ahead to let the internet handle the mailing. I so long for the motivation and money to line up so that I can send gifts from the interwebs. Ultimately, I'd like the gift exchanging to end altogether. *perfect world*  I find it ridiculous to feel pressure to shop for teachers (school, church, etc.), co-workers, the mail man, the crossing guard, and so on and so on and so on.....

I tried harder this year to change my attitude.  For a while, I even had Christmas Spirit!

I have to try harder to shed the anxiety about all those pressures and focus on the birth of a tender baby.  The rest will fall into place.

So, in spite of my blue Christmas blog, just know that I am thankful for you wherever you are, whomever you are. And, in spite of my blue Christmas blog, I am taking moments here and there and settling down long enough to smile knowing Jesus is here.

Divinity weds humanity.

Happy Christmas.

Amen.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Neruda: The Fickle One

THE FICKLE ONE

~

My eyes went away from me

following a dark girl who went by.

She was made of black mother-of-pearl,

made of dark-purple grapes,

and she lashed my blood

with her tail of fire.

After them all

I go.


A pale blonde went by

like a golden plant

swaying her gifts.

And my mouth went

like a wave

discharging on her breast

lightningbolts of blood.


After them all

I go.


But to you, without my moving,

without seeing you, distant you,

go my blood and my kisses,

my dark one and my fair one,

my tall one and my little one,

my broad one and my slender one,

my ugly one, my beauty,

made of all the gold

and of all the silver,

made of all the wheat

and of all the earth,

made of all the water

of the sea waves,

made for my arms,

made for my kisses,

made for my soul.
~

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Offerings of Compassion


This photo was taken at the State Fair of Texas when My Little One was three. We were sitting inside the building where the Quilts & other arts and crafts are on prized display. The Texas sun bore it's heavy beams on our delicate faces, so we decided to escape it a while. Ice cream seemed the perfect invitation to accept, so inside a building we ducked. 

Her curly locks had been pink-hair-sprayed & were drenched in sweat! My face was hotred.  We should've been miserable, yet we were laughing! 

Look how happy my sweetsweet is!! This picture makes me giggle and laugh and melt and ... well, just everything gooey and good. 

The picture was tucked away in a pile of pictures I had out to sort and put in an album.  There are stacks of pictures.  The point is, this photo wasn't out in plain sight.  It was buried in a sea of other photos.  Add to the mix that the sea is now contained in a closet because it was relocated to a room that we recently converted into an office-type room. 

See that sand dollar?  The sand dollar is her own painted artwork.  She painted it over the summer at a little clayhouse business near our home.  I'm not sure where it was before it was offered to me as captured in the photo above, but I know she's been very fond of it and plays with it from time to time.

+

My Little One is such a sensitive, tender soul with a heart that is so tuned into mine it's scary (and I wouldn't trade it for the world!).

Several months ago, I was feeling overwhelmed, and this particular day, I couldn't hold myself together any longer.  My Husband and I had closed our bedroom door and I was venting about feeling inadequate.  I wasn't yelling in anger; rather, I was releasing in a very emotional way -- might even call it an unravelling.  This was a pretty unusual event because I don't typically unravel around My Family.  This day, I did; there was no stopping it. 

I was crying the kind of cry where I get all boogery and practically hyperventillate.  The kind where I enter a zone of some sort and don't really have control of what I'm saying.  The kind of cry where I experience a migraine almost immediately after the tears dry. 
 
A brief time passes and I'm calmer, feeling better.  I opened the bedroom door to brave the world again.  On the floor, right at the threshold, before I could even take my first step, was the photo and sand dollar, just as it's pictured above.  Right at my bare feet was this abundant love.  I look down the hallway and she peeks out of a room with worried eyes, seeking answers, seeking returned love.  In a moment of a moment of time, we had an unspoken love flow between us and I felt so validated and adequate.  She cautiously approaches me where my arms were already open, awaiting to embrace her whole being.  And so, she entered, I lifted her up and hugged her to near-suffocation.  We exchanged words of assurance and all was right in the world again....
 
What an incredibly insighful gesture by a five year old.  What an amazing offering of compassion.
 
I am a blessed woman -- beyond measure -- beyond my worth.  And I am ever, EVER thankful.

+



Sunday, November 27, 2011

Another One Without You

Today's My Dad's birthday.

I cried at church -- like I usually do.

While I knelt in prayer, reflecting on him, tears streaming warmth down my cold cheeks, the same smiling-from-the-white-light vision I had the day he died reappeared to me today.

I smiled.

He's well.

I quit crying.

+

Love you, Daddy. Still. Always.

~Juliette

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Dedication to My Mom

Yesterday, I came home to a swept floor, a fried plant tended back to health, a neat and presentable daughter's room. 

Before that, she said yes to watching my kids all day so My Husband and I could work.

Before that, she said yes to watching a sick kid, herself in a constant immunocompromised state of health.

Before that, she's made meal after meal for My Family, fed My Kids whenever there's a time crunch between getting home from work and zipping to extracurricular activities. She's even taken them to the extracurricular activity, and picked them up.

She's been understandably upset when our schedules get crossed.


Me, My Brother, My Father and Mother ~ late 1971

She buys slurpees, gluten-free pasta, black licorice, sunflower seeds -- all for us.

She has given My Family a lot of her love, energy, time and today, I want to specially honor My Mom.  I'm endlessly grateful to have her in my life, and I'm glad my kids have a grandmother in her.  My mom grew up with no mother, didn't know her grandparents. She's survived a long, hard life and overcome a lot of challenges. 

I love her more each day.

Thanks, Mom, for making my life easier. And thanks for all you do for me and My Family.

xo

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What's one of your earliest memories?

Being an Army brat, I have very few memories of my childhood at all, but one thing I remember vividly is from when my family lived on Oahu, Hawaii.

I was in elementary school, 3rd-5th, in Hawaii. One year, the whole grade saved newspapers and aluminum cans to earn money to pay for a trip to the Big Island (also named Hawaii, like the state). That trip was a week-long enrichment trip where we learned, among other things, Hawaiian history.

I got to walk across the entire Kilauea Crater, dormant at that time. The sulphur smell is still with me to this day. I also trekked on a black sand beach, saw where royalty lived, learned songs in the Hawaiian language, saw totem poles, danced the hula, and so many other experiences! By far, this memory is my favorite, and honestly, probably my earliest.

I have heard stories and seen pictures of times prior to the Hawaii post, but I cannot say I *remember* them. My "memories" are really re-told stories.

y'know...what you're wondering about. Duh.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Girl Panic!


Remember Cindy Crawford (still my all time favorite!)?
Remember Naomi Campbell?
Remember Duran Duran?
Remember?
~
Indulge in the eye candy of "Girl Panic!"
(such a clever twist!)


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Legacy

He sat there, alone
'Neath the tree for shade
Pondering the cold stone
Atop where she laid.

+

A couple weeks ago, I drove to the doctor's office.  Along the route, there's a large cemetary. Some plots skirt the outer perimeter of the property along a very busy street -- my route.  As I sped by, I quick glimpse of this haunting, lasting, and - as I see it - sweet, image has not left me.

I immediately wrote this little poem.

I hope I have a visitor or two some day bring a folding chair and sit at my grave.  I pray I have such a legacy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11

In the eleventh month....
On the eleventh day
On the eleventh hour

....give thanks.....

Thank you, veterans!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Favorite Words: KEF

Per dictionary dot com:

kef: a state of drowsy contentment


Language never fails to make me smile.  I am absolutely in love with the fact that a word exists in the English language to describe so succinctly one of my favorite states of being.
 
BONUS: I will use this word on Words With Friends. If played right, it can be a decent scorer.
 
~Whoosh!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Boa's Coming of Age: Shaving Legs


About two weeks ago, it was Red Ribbon Week in the school district where I live. Each day of the week, there was a theme.  One of those days was "dress up like the profession you want to be when you grow up".  My Eldest chose college professor, teaching a very specialized subject of Cherokee Indian language.

She wore a short-sleeved, dark gray sweater-dress that had a cowl neck. Around her waist was a thick elastic black belt, and she wore some mary-jane style shoes.

Later that night, I was informed that some kids "mentioned" to her that she has hairy legs.  She was embarrassed.  She was embarrassed enough to prompt her to ask me to teach her how to shave her legs.

Heaven help me (and you!), My Eldest - which I'll refer to as Boa on occasion - is coming of age. She's trekking into that fabulously maddening journey into puberty.  Someone please make it stop!!  *sob*

This morning, I taught Boa how to shave her legs.

*cringe*

She can't be ready for this! Right? Hell...*I* am not ready for this!!

Boa & I sat on the edge of the tub, just us "women", accompanied by a pink disposable razor, a can of shaving cream, a running faucet, a towel and our brave faces. 


I've never taught anyone to shave before. I didn't think of the bony ankles, the curves of the joint areas.  Therefore, I didn't warn her about the difficulty of shaving around the outer ankle bone.

"Have you ever nicked yourself while shaving, Mommy?" (I love that she called me 'mommy'!! A sign of her childhood still with me -- that little girl sitting next to me!)

"Yep. I have. Lots. You will, too."

And then it happened.

In an instant, I see her beautiful light brown eyes fill with fear, pain, tears as she experienced her first nick -- on the ankle bone. 

I felt awful!

She fought tears and immediately said, "I'm never shaving there!! Never, evaaarrrrrr!"

Furry ankles it will be.

College Drop Out: Failings in Motherhood?

I'm not sure I can experience a worse shame or failure. I'm certainly not inviting the chance to do either or both of those!! I'm simply saying, dropping out of school with my kids in tow is pretty much the lowest of the lows in motherhood for me.

What did my actions teach them? What message did they get from me making the choice to drop my ONE AND ONLY class?

I can only hope they saw a woman who was trying to "do it all", surrender and be humble. I can only hope they saw their mom being in the disposition of accepting that she cannot, indeed, do it all.

My fear is that they learned that it's acceptable to dismiss education.  My anxiety is they learned that their mama is a failure.

Ouch.

Very. Ouch.

Rationally, I know I made the right choice. I feel you reassuring me that "it's not that important", "you'll get back there someday", "you made the right choice", "your kids will understand", etc. My emotions, however, are ruling this aspect of my life and will for a while.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

53

Happy Another Year 'Round The Sun to my dream luvah, Sighhhhhmon.

53
And for Simon's birthday, the Texas Rangers will deliver a World Series Championship. Just sayin'.

Luvz ya, Si! Le Smooch!

~Whoosh

Tonight's The Night


Texas Rangers -- Bring home the championship!
(P.S. Crushin' HARD on Michael Young. Why did I not get into baseball sooner?!)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Favorite Words: Synechdoche

"Simultaneous understanding"


See the etymology here.

It's more commonly known in literary circles as a means of describing something using as part to refer to a whole.

Now, use your head and fix your eyes on the prize!
~Whoosh!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Eight-iversary



Eight is my absolute favorite number. 

Eight is the number of years My Husband and I have been married.

Happy Eight-iversary, Love!

~IC2LUT~

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Favorite Words: Cenacle

A word was spoken at the Latin Mass I attended the other day:  cenacle.

I immediately wrote it in my notes with a reminder to look up its meaning.

According to dictionary dot com:

— n


1. a supper room, esp one on an upper floor

2. ( capital ) the room in which the Last Supper took place
I love learning new words!
~Whoosh (a.k.a. Word Nerd)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Farewell Wishes

In May, 2009, a culmination my three years of teaching a group of fine young men and women was fruitfully celebrated at the Sacrament of Confirmation.  I'm realizing that they're graduating high school and heading off to college, the military, to LIFE!

My heart kind of sinks.

My heart very much sings!

I wish all of you the best. Please know that I'll be praying for you, I'm here if you need me.

My prayer for you:

Holy Father,

Please protect MY KIDS -- those amazing kids who taught me more than I taught them!  I am ever grateful that their paths and my path crossed each other & we were able to share precious time together.  I pray that I served you well as a vessel, speaking your word, doing your will, resulting in a a life-long impression on their heart. 

May they feel your comforting hand in times of trial, feel the licks of your flames during periods of growth, and through it all, name the joy and the pain "God's love", and offer gratitude for it.

Please call them to prayer...constant prayer...constant relationship with you.  Pray, pray, pray, even when it seems like it's uncomfortable.  Jesus, I know you will tap them on their shoulder, smile and offer love. MY KIDS:  keep in mind that Christ is your friend! The words he most often spoke:  Do not be afraid. 

Furthermore, Father, protect them.  Empower them mightily to be soldiers of faith. Grant them confidence in themselves through you to avoid peer pressure, careless judgment, impulsive decisions, anger-fueled actions, inaction as a result of despondency.

In the times they stray from The Path, let the stir of you remain in the cobwebs and depths, for that's The Voice - YOUR Voice, and they WILL know it! Then they will return to you.  When they are off the path, it will be an opportunity for fire, to mold and purify. When MY KIDS are old and gray, may the look back on this time, in good graces with you, and smile, feel joy knowing that His/Her Path was intended and chosen by you all along.

Call them to Reconciliation. Grant them families and relationship to nurture their spirit and offer it selfless as Christ does.

Keep their minds  and hearts always radically open, questioning, questioning, questioning in order that they are reassured, re-grounded, re-affirmed in their faith walk with you.

Father, I'm blessed to have taught them. I'm blessed to have been their student. I couldn't be more proud of each and every one of them, no matter where they are led.  Thought my heart breaks and aches, it's full of joy, swollen with love. Thank you.

Always and Forever in humility,
Jackie

Church World Tour ~ Mater Dei Catholic Church ~ Irving, Texas


"Angelus domini nuntiavit Mariae; et concepit de Spiritu Sancto, et verbim caro factum est."

~

The Mass was celebrated in Latin, save the homily.  A red-covered paperback book is provided so you can follow along and participate.  Also, English translation is in a side column.  (Thank you!).
 
It was High Mass, so we were sprinkled with holy water at the beginning, we inhaled incense and heard chant.
 
The priest kept his back to the parish as he recited Latin while consecrating the Host.

To receive Communion, you have to kneel at the kneelers at the front of the church. The Altar Server held a brass plate under your chin as you received the host.

The altar and ceiling were adorned in golden Fleurs de Lis, and a scrolled letter M.

Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto

The Last Supper carved in the base of the Altar.

Mantillas for modesty.

 
Shrines of Mary and Joseph flanked the Altar.
 
The church was simple, elegant; the mood extremely reverent. It felt formal, and I felt a bit of a misfit.  For one reason, I don't know Latin (yet), and another, I felt ill-prepared and ill-equpped. Rationally, I shouldn't have felt embarrassed by the fact that My Girls and I were not wearing mantillas, yet, I couldn't escape that feeling.  Also, they all wore long skirts - very puritan-esque.  I, of course, was in pants.  My Eldest wore a skirt and My Little One wore a dress.  The members of the church weren't shooting us judgmental looks and no one told us we were inappropriate, yet, I still felt so out-of-place!

Though I didn't get a photo of if, a balcony is at the back of the church. The choir sung from the balcony.

After Mass was over, The Girls had plenty to say about the experience. 

Other random observations:
  • The priest pronounced both letters t in such words like "written" (instead of 'swallowing' them lazily like most people do).  This made me very happy. :)
  • The phrase "Holy Ghost" instead of "Holy Spirit" was spoken.
  • Having just completed a psychology class, I was particularly tickled to hear the phrase "Tabula Rasa" spoken in the homily.  It was in the context of the Sacrament of Baptism as well as the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
  • During the.whole.entire.Mass, one particular Altar Server - who couldn't have been more than 14 years old - stood with prayerfully folded hands.
  • Randomly, My Little One announced that she wants to be cremated upon her death. 
The homily was centered around temptation.  The celebrant discussed how the acts of liberating our soul from Original Sin with Baptism was foretold in the Old Testament by Moses splitting the Red Sea (freeing slaves, liberating Israelites).  Then he begged these question:  What do we need?  His answers:  Baptism, Manna.  What can we expect?  Answers:  trials & tribulations, temptation, consequences. What can we avoid?  False peace.  The priest stated 'even if one is fully devoted, he will still have temptation and trials because he is living in the militant church.  Collectively, we are soldiers for the Glory of God.  We we overcome, we uphold that Glory, vanquish sin, grow closer to the Kingdom.  Trials are good for us.'  He also reminded the flock (highlighting the words of St. Augustine) to keep God first and everything else subordinate to God.  Tranquility will be ours and we will remain in a state of grace by keeping God first.  Peace cannot be lost if God is at the top of the order.  (Easier said than done, huh?! Oy!)

Although there's truth and value to using it at times, I'm not a fan of the militant usage of words, images for witnessing and evangelizing. My aversion to using such verbiage and means of living/growing my faith is attributable to my non-confrontational, peace-loving spirit (it must be a false peace, huh?).  I don't do well with disharmony or 'fighting'.  I'm equally avoidant of using The Devil in similar ways ("the devil is working on you", "the devil made me do it", "satan is at work", etc.). That being said, I didn't like most of the homily. This has to be one of the few times ever I left a homily not feeing uplifted. However, I had a very academic experience by hearing how Old Testament and New Testament "stories" tie together (i.e. parting of the Red Sea by Moses = liberation of Original Sin, worshipping of false idols = us thinking our turmoil will settle, Mary = the Arc of the Covenant).

Overall, this was an extremely solemn experience.  I'd go back, but I don't think I could be a regular there without being more familiar with Latin.  I felt pretty removed from the body of Christ, which is counter to what the Church teaches about attending Mass.  It wasn't even rote since I'm not familiar with the language.  However, I have immense respect for what transpired!  The one consolation I had that helped me stay tied to my faith is knowing that world-wide, that day, no matter the language, we were all united by the same readings and love. 

~

"Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she conceived of the Holy Spirit, and the word was made flesh"

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Church World Tour ~ Southern Methodist University ~ Dallas, Texas



We were blessed with an amazing priest at our home parish.  He was fairly young, former military, a convert to Catholicism (in his 30s! -- like me!) and entered the priesthood fairly late compared to his counterparts.  He's an accomplished pipe organist, speaks several languages, has a great sense of humor and is always smiling.  One of my favorite things about his homily, aside from his message, is that he ends it as if it were a prayer by saying "Amen". 

Relatively speaking, he did a quick swim-through our parish. I was sad to hear he was re-assigned, but his assignment left me very happy for him and for the community in which he will be serving.  He was appointed to Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas proper.  I believe it's fairly widely known that among SMU's faithful, the Catholics are the largest community attending college there (yes, even more than the Methodists!). I found this to be a perfect fit for Fr. Anthony.

We decided to pay him a visit this summer.  Off to SMU we went! 

The chapel at SMU is modest, and it converts easily to a Catholic Mass. It's intimate, white - a bit sterile, really - but highly functional. I would imagine any denomination (or non-denomination) could easily set up in that space. Make no mistake, thought, it is clearly a worship space.

Mass was quite lovely. I am reminded what a powerful messenger of God Fr. Anthony is. I will be going back, even if it's not Fr. Anthony celebrating. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Music Minute: Tracy Chapman

I recently updated my Nano with music. I had forgotten about a few songs, one of them being "At This Point In My Life" by Tracy Champan.

I'm having a bit of a hard day today, and lately, I've not slept well.  I'm glad the day is just about over. Anyway, this song came on while I was driving home today and it just resounded with me. It rippled deep into my soul and back out of my being.

~

Done so many things wrong I don't know if I can do right


Oh I, Oh I've


Done so many things wrong I don't know if I can do right


+


At this point in my life


I've done so many things wrong I don't know if I can do right


If you put your trust in me I hope I won't let you down


If you give me a chance I'll try


You see it's been a hard road the road I'm traveling on


And if I take your hand I might lead you down the path to ruin


I've had a hard life I'm just saying it so you'll understand


That right now, right now, I'm doing the best I can


At this point in my life


At this point in my life


+


Although I've mostly walked in the shadows


I'm still searching for the light


Won't you put your faith in me


We both know that's what matters


If you give me a chance I'll try


You see I've been climbing stairs but mostly stumbling down


I've been reaching high always losing ground


You see I've been reaching high but always losing ground


You see I've conquered hills but I still have mountains to climb


And right now right now I'm doing the best I can


At this point in my life


+


Before we take a step


Before we walk down that path


Before I make any promises


Before you have regrets


Before we talk commitment


Let me tell you of my past


All I've seen and all I've done


The things I'd like to forget


At this point in my life


+


At this point in my life


I'd like to live as if only love mattered


As if redemption was in sight


As if the search to live honestly


Is all that anyone needs


No matter if you find it


+


You see when I've touched the sky


The earth's gravity has pulled me down


But now I've reconciled that in this world


Birds and angels get the wings to fly


If you can believe in this heart of mine


If you can give it a try


Then I'll reach inside and find and give you


All the sweetness that I have


At this point in my life


At this point in my life


~

Hoping to get a little sleep tonight, and a brighter tomorrow.




~ Love ~

Two Decades Later....


Birthday Boy

....and I haven't stopped loving him.

I love him more today than ever.

His smile makes me smile....


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

National Kissing Day -- TODAY!


SssssMACK!
July 6th is National Kissing Day.
Supposedly it is only in the UK, but according to Wiki, it's an international event now.
Who am I to refuse or deny a kissing act?

Go forth to give and receive kisses!
Butterfly
French
Blown
Eskimo
Upside-down
European Cheek to Cheek
Stolen
Slobbery
Lizard (*laughing*)
Angel

And here's a little something from me.... (click~~>) MUAH!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Church "World" Tour: Christ The King ~ University Park

What a stunning piece of carved architecture this church has! Also, the sanctuary is nothing short of magnificent! GORGEOUS church! Christ The King in University Park (CTK) tickled many parts of my visual fancy. 

As you can see by my picture on the right, taken at the main entrance, one feels verrrrry small immediately! My camera equipment is incomplete for I could not fit the entirety of this entrance in my frame.

The previous two weeks, before each Mass, a lector would invite the congregation to reach over and greet our neighbor.  I have to admit, I really do love this idea and practice, and wish my home parish did this! At CTK, there was no greeting before Mass, so, in a way, it was "business as usual".

The homily centered around the Virtue of Humility, which was translated and expounded upon as the knowledge of self. It was quite a delightful homily about something that's difficult to be and do.  I was reminded of how easy it is to get wrapped up in the physical world, and how I'm tempted to use the physical temptations of this world to elevate myself or validate myself in unhealthy or mis-guided ways. As a mother, the them of teaching my daughters to dress and act modestly, was re-affirmed. I have not heard a homily like this that I can recall (and if I have, clearly the message wasn't received!).

There was no choir, only a cantor and a small group of folks playing traditional instruments.  There was a song sung, "O Breathe On Me, O Breath of God", where the second verse echoed the homily beautifully (the whole song did but the second verse was the home-run!):

Breathe on me, Breath of God, 
until my heart is pure, 
until with thee I will one will, 
to do and to endure.

Veronica Wipes The Face of Jesus at CTK
Stained Glass Doors Greeting A Parishoner at CTK

 
Mary Shrine at CTK
All Kings Shall Adore Him..... (entrance CTK)

...Nations Shall Serve Him (entrance CTK)
Next week:  St. Ann's in Coppell!
 
~Whoosh 
 
 

Friday, July 01, 2011

Mid Life Crisis? Justin Bieber Fever -- For A Few Days At Least

Um...
Don't hate me.

Just hold me.

Baby, baby, baby ohhhhh, baby, baby, baby....

Don't Waste My Time, Time, Time, Time!

Tonight, for "family movie night", The Family gathered on the L-train to pick a movie. I suggested "Never Say Never", you know, the Justin Bieber movie.  I change the channel to it, and My Husband exits the room, "I don't wanna watch no Justin Bieber movie". 

So much for the "Family" in "Family Movie Night".  *laughing* But -- I get it. He's a guy. The rest of the humans in this house are of the female type.

The three of us girls sit here and watch Beebs and his lil life story -- a lot of life in a short amount of time, I must say!

I'm impressed with how talented he is, and that he's basically a grass-roots story of success.  The songs I've heard have positive messages. The shows are not sexual in nature, nor does he cuss and act like an arrogant attitudinal teenager. There were a couple of running themes in the movie that made him more endearing. For example, there's prayer, and he has, what seem to be, caring and savvy adults around him that are protecting him & allowing him to be a kid. Usher, of all people, brought Beebs into the limelight & takes care of him. Let's hope it all stays on the good side of the world. *fingers crossed*

Favorite movie quotes:

         ~ This tastes like dinosaur pee.
         ~ The little things go far.

I recently saw New Kids On The Block & Back Street Boys (sans the delicious Kevin Richardson), and my teenagejackie is in full hormone rage as a result of watching those guys. When I watch Never Say Never, I go back to my Duran Duran giddyjackie days. I can see why Justin Bieber has tons of screaming girls around him! That hair flip alone...supercute. It helps, too, that he makes that heart with his hands.....(that I've made with my own hands a time or seven)....


I highly recommend the movie. You better Bieleb your ass, I'll take My Girls to his concert if I'm able, and yes, I *will* be singing the songs because I'm about to go download a ton of them! 

One more thing, I started following him on Twitter -- just for a few days -- to see if he's worth my time. ;P

~Whoosh

P.S. The purple colored font is in honor of Beebs & his fave color....

Monday, June 27, 2011

NKOTBSB in Dallas

I have to giggle....

It's no secret that I'm a HUGE Duran Duran fan. But boy bands? Never got into them -- at all! I remember a handful of songs by New Kids On The Block and Back Street Boys, but by no means do I remember the words or the names of the songs!

My angelic friend asked me to attend the NKOTBSB concert with her (I'm very annoyed by the 'shared' B.). She was *beside* herself with giddiness when she received tickets to the show as a gift! I accepted with the condition that if she found a friend who is a BIGGER fan than I am, she should take that friend instead. It wasn't because I didn't want to go. Certainly I want to spend time with her, so that wasn't the reason either! I just know how passionate I feel about Duran Duran, and how exhilarating it is to have a friend with you who enjoys the squealing and the dancing and the uninhibited stupidness that is on display when attending a concert of a favorite band.  However, I was the blessed cohort in crime & I gladly stepped up to the plate!

The boys didn't disappoint -- not a one of them.  They all posed. They all bared their abs.  They all sported Mavs jerseys. They all danced. They all sang to ONLY ME! They sang songs I didn't know belonged to them, and they sang them with passion, energy and fun!

Sadly, one Back Street Boys boy was missing:  Kevin Richardson. He's the one I liked best.  In his absence, I'll suffer through the yummygoodness of Donnie Wahlberg. Torture!


I love how fun my life is these days!

~Whoosh

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Church "World" Tour: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (SEAS) ~ Plano

Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ (also known as the Solemnity of Corpus Christi), which has a dual intent of focusing on the Eucharist and the Church (Body of Christ), primarily the Eucharist.

Week Three of the Church "World" Tour, My Family attended the 11:00 a.m. Mass at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Plano (a.k.a. SEAS)(I have since learned there is another SEAS in Keller. Might have to add it to our list.)

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is the first American-born citizen to be canonized by the Church.  Cool, huh?

The Gospel reading of this day is the crux of the Catholic faith. It's the centerpiece of why Catholics believe in the trans-substantiation, as well as why we even attend church -- to receive the actual body and blood of Christ.  The Gospel reference is in John 6:51-58.  Our non-Catholic bretheren have a hard time with the idea that Catholics believe this & practice it; the most common criticism being "doesn't that make you a cannibal?".  There's is another counterpoint of "we are called to take it in *remembrance* of Christ".  Fair enough words. I'm not here to witness, but rather, to state how The Church believes.

I mention it merely because there are times in the homily that relates to the day of the liturgical year. And, in this case, Christ gave us the Ultimate Love by dying for us (Corpus Christi).  So, today's homily at SEAS was focused on just that -- LOVE.


It happened to be Father's last week at SEAS, as he's been re-assigned by the Diocese to St. Ann's in Coppell (also on our list!).  He leaves a parish of approximately 5-6K families to go to a parish of approximately 8K families. He gave a lovely farewell homily, speaking about how much he has loved each person in that flock, though he did not know them all by name.  He didn't need to.

Father further conveyed this:
What we want most is to love and be loved.

Love doesn't just bring pure joy; it brings pain, too -- and maybe this is why Jesus did what he did for us.
If you don't already know this about me yet, know this:  one of my three life mottos is: pain is growth.

Father's homily echoed this to some degree, I believe.  I was stirred by the notion of love bring the extremes of pure joy and raw pain. Such truth.

Wishing Father much love, luck and happiness on his new adventure!

~Whoosh!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Church "World" Tour: All Saints Catholic Church ~ Dallas

Firstly, happy father's day to all you men out there that are fathers and father figures to include coaches, uncles, brothers, male teachers, and so forth.  A special father's day holla to all priests, deacons, men of cloth.  Most importantly, Happy Father's Day to God the Father, the one who loves all of us infinitely & perfectly.

___

 Today is Trinity Sunday a.k.a. The Solemnity of The Most Holy Trinity
This day falls every year the week after Pentecost. Unlike the other feast days that celebrates an event or person, this one celebrates a reality and doctrine (dogma).  To learn more, click here.
___

St. Veronica Icon - All Saints
The second week of my family's Church "World" Tour in which we are visiting different parishes around our fair burg too us to All Saints Catholic Church in Dallas.

Through the ministry of ACTS, My Husband and I have been blessed to meet people from all walks of life, all faiths and non-faiths.  Since ACTS is a Catholic organization in origin (started with the Crucillo Movement), the community is largely comprised of Catholics.  The retreats that St. Joseph's has hosted have brought Catholics from various parishes (not unlike the retreats hosted by other parishes in the area).  One couple in particular, we've befriended, and they attend All Saints.  On Saturday evening, I sent a text message asking which Mass they attend because my family had planned to go and would love to coordinate going at the same time.  We managed to get lined up and had a great time!

Again, like last week at St. Paul's, this week the congregation was invited to turn to each other and bid one another hello. Gosh I sure do like that gesture!

One of the newly ordained Bishops is assigned to All Saints and celebrated Mass.  His homily was lovely in spite of the sadness with which he opened.  

The Bishop told us a story of receiving a call from his college-age nephew who had himself just learned of his best friend's suicide.  Naturally, The Nephew asked his Uncle, "Will my friend be in Hell?" The Bishop took this opportunity to educate and/or remind the community at large about Church teaching on suicide.

I was especially struck by these words spoken by The Bishop:  Love is rational.  You cannot love unless you have someone to love.  You cannot love unless you yourself are loved.

Over the course of the last several years, I've journeyed into the various ideas, notions, definitions, kinds of "love".  There are so many definitions, aren't there? It's confusing to know what love is, how to love, when to love -- and vice versa. Too, it's difficult to know when to let someone love us in his or her way instead of the way we expect.  As one grows in maturity and wisdom, we have to learn that love is a choice, and it's conscious (rational AND emotive).

Anyway -- The Bishop's homily hit home for me.

After Mass, My Family and our friends went to Jake's for a good ole fashioned burger. They have two sons, slightly younger than My Girls, but they all got along famously! They even sat at their own table, which they all thought was pretty cool.

___

Father's Day for My Husband included home made gifts from The Girls at their Montessori school.  My Little One made a "garden" snake out of a striped neck tie.  The tie was filled with perite and sewn closed.  Glow-in-the-dark eyes were also sewn on the end, and a pipe cleaner is the tongue.  It's meant to go in the garden as a fertilizer, and it'll keep squirrels away (in theory). So, My Husband wrapped it around the Magnolia tree branch in the back yard.

My Eldest made a travel-size checker board using plywood, paint and a sponge.  The checker pieces are made of plastic bottle caps. She sewed and decorated a burlap bag in which the checkers can be carried.  The burlap bag closes drawstring (pull string?) style.  Very cute. 

___

Other than that, a fairly laid-back day.  Hope you relaxed today, too -- father or not!
~Whoosh!

In Which A Daughter Needs

Happy Father's Day, Daddy.

I love you.

In case you were wondering, I still need you.....

Love you forever,

~Jackie

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer Hair

I never in a million years would have thought I'd be the kind of mother who would allow this to happen.
BEFORE


If it were not for a "this-is-for-summer-only" condition, and the expertise of my good friend and personal hairstylist R, I would not have allowed it.

BUT....I've let my girls color their hair for the summer. Not just ANY color, mind you. *cringe* They both wanted shades of B L U E!
My Eldest opted for turquoise

 

 My Little One opted for royal blue


AFTER - Not that dramatic, huh?