Sunday, December 30, 2018


I love making New Year's Resolutions. They're so much easier than keeping them.  I can get wildly ambitious and not feel bad when I fail because nearly everybody does.   However, this year, I'm looking at things and thinking, I need to do better.  I want to do better.  I want to be healthier, which means not just waiting until January 1st, but starting now.  I want to become a better writer.  It means Ugh...editing.   I want to get more organized.  I bought a planner. It needs some love...and a pen.

They don't sound crazy.  Perhaps that's why I look at them and think, they lack sizzle.  More to the point, they lack focus. They're generic.   Resolutions fail because they don't come with an action plan, they're more of a wish list of the archetype we aren't.  In my case, a desire for a me who is more healthy, more polished, more organized, less slap dash, organic and cluttered. 

So...the plan. 

For the gym...I'm going to go. To go, I will have to rework my afternoon.  If they go to aftercare, it's expensive, so I need to pick them up at 2:45, and go to pick up Paul so no one is wedded to the afternoon bus at 4:20.  It means Paul, Anna and I can go to the gym at 4:30 until 5:30.  It also means, anyone who is doing an afternoon activity will get picked up after wards. 

It will also mean assigning two different children to make dinner Monday through Thursday to ensure we are eating healthy and with some variety and before eight in the evening.   Monday will be Bonn's and Regina's night.  Tuesday will be Will's and Rita's.   Wednesday will be John and Faith, and Thursday, Anna, Paul and me.  I've made the parameter that dinner must include a protein, and either two vegetables and a starch or a fruit may be substituted for the protein if one wishes to go vegetarian. I reserve veto power in the event someone goes on a weird eating jag I know will be rejected by everyone.

For the of the biggest killers of my time is laundry.  We've needed a system for years. We've tried systems for years.  They fail because people stop using them.   They fail because we get into efficiency via bulk, rather than efficiency via consistency.  So tomorrow, I go to Bed Bath and Beyond and everybody gets their own laundry bag.  I will be tagging said bags with names and laundry day.  I will also post it in the main room. If you're on your own. 

For editing.  I printed up my draft.  I put it in a binder.  I'm now going to open up the binder and begin making notes on post-its.  I will do it until I get through all the pages.  I will then go through it again with a second color post-it.  I will make the edits.   I am telling myself to do the first five pages today.  I can already tell, I don't want to do it, which means I must.   I have a second book which needs some love.  I will be working on that too.  Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I think I hate editing more than exercise...maybe not. 

Good luck to all of you with your resolutions.  Happy 2019! 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Reflections and Reactions

Writing is weird. I can spend hours sweating over a piece I think I've made beautiful and get crickets. I fire off something after an afternoon of ordinary life and it's one of the bigger posts I've ever made. Writing Catholic is weirder still. Whatever you write gets debated, with the presumption being either I am ignorant, or failed to say everything that should be said.

One can never address everything. No one would want to read it. I already ramble enough in my attempts at grappling with how to witness with words what I know to be true. Besides, I'm not required to write everything. What I'd hope, is whatever I write inspires others to write the more they find lacking. I'm not even a nucleotide of the DNA of the body of Christ, (My daughter's studying DNA in science class). I'm more of an RNA, a strand designed for carrying out the message of the DNA, and hopefully, not getting it wrong.

I wrote "Run to the manger." Someone said I should write run to the cross. I'd agree with that answer as well. The two are not mutually exclusive, they are in fact, part of the fullness of Christ's reality. The reality is both, and today, in this season of Christmas, we are to seek the stable and the King in the manger, as earnestly as we will after the 40 days wandering in the spiritual dessert, find ourselves at the foot of the cross. The goal is the same, to arrive at the feet of Christ, whether as a babe, at the Mount, on the Cross or as the Eucharist. The goal is to embrace the heart of Jesus and offer Him our own. Everything else is a manifestation of that offering or of our unwillingness to make that offering. Guess my ego is getting in the way of things. Memo to not read comments posted on my articles.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Over at the Register Today

I've been busy (as I'm sure you are) with Christmas preparations and Christmas itself, but here's my latest at the Register.  I hope to get back in earnest with writing today...

Five Ways the Devil Tries to Rob You of Christmas Joy. (Or, Sherry took her kids out to look at lights and overheard how organized everyone else was for Christmas a week before, so what did she do? Write about it). 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Small Success Thursday at Home...

I stopped the Small Success Thursday because it became too repetitive in message, but I do miss giving myself a weekly what did you do this past week Sherry gut check.   So here's my homespun Small Success Thursday:  

1) Five of my kids were in A Christmas Carol at the high school where I work, and it was loads of fun, even if everyone felt very tired afterwards. 

2) Working on trying to write tighter prose, in a workshop.  Editing two different types of writing, my brain is melting in the process.  

3) Youngest daughter received first reconciliation this week.  

4) Fifth visited a college for the first time, and is in indoor track and signed up for an SAT.   

5) Third got a job for the summer lined up.  Second got a job for second semester and applied for a summer program.  

6) We did Breakfast with Santa. 

7) The tree is up.  

8) Finished reading a book.  

9) Seventh was in a band concert.  

10) Third and Second will finish exams this week, fourth next.   Everyone will be home by next week.  

11) 1st is hitting the gym each day. (Very proud of him). 

12) Got in a date night and a dinner night out with a friend.   

Lots of little things, all lovely that made for a great two weeks (I put the past two weeks together).  Will try to do this each week, just here. Hope your week is filled with Small Successes.    

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Over at the Register Again...

I have a piece over at the National Catholic Register, How to Reclaim Advent from the Tinsel.  I'll be over here, addressing a Christmas card.  It takes more discipline than I thought...but it does mean, it's not a stress like it was. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

At the Register

I wrote this piece a while ago, and lo and behold, today it saw print. It was a surprise to me to be sure. 

What Jesus Wants of Us,

Monday, December 3, 2018

Happy Birthday!

Over the years, I've written lots of stories...about my kids, about myself, about life, but there's one person I usually tell my stories to, long before they're written; my mom.   She calls me when there's a typo. 

Mom's my first friend after my husband.  She often hears all my heart holds.   What she should hear more often from me, is thank you. 

What she should hear more often from me is; Thank you for joining that book of the week club back when I was a kid.  I read those stories to my kids and they love them as much as I did.

Thank you for telling me to read the books I didn't want to read, because they were really good books once I let myself read them.

Thank you for telling me to get a hair cut, go to the gym, giving me a subscription to Magnificat and introducing me to some of the better chocolates out there.

Thank you for taking me shopping when I couldn't or wouldn't find the time. 

Thank you for asking past the ordinary, "How are things?" when you knew for whatever reason, I wasn't talking.

Thank you for telling me when you didn't like something.

Thank you for coming to visit and spending whole days talking about whatever it was.

Thank you for my faith, and for growing it even when I didn't know it needed growing.

Thank you for coming to the rescue of your family, again and again and again and again and again. 

Thank you for witnessing to your children, "Yes." even when yes meant something hard. 

Thank you for witnessing with Dad with your marriage.

Thank you for my two brothers and one sister.

Thank you for putting up with the stupid fights my brothers and I got into whenever we'd be left unchecked. 

Thank you for putting me in dancing and piano and everything else I wanted to try.

Thank you for telling me sometimes, it was okay to not sign up for things even if it took me a while to believe it.

Thank you for demanding I do more than the minimum in academics. 

Thank you for telling me when you think I'm doing too much.

Thank you for telling me when you think we need to give someone a little push of encouragement.

Thank you.  Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you for being Mom.

Oh and...Happy Birthday!  Love you.

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If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!