Looking back: 2010

It’s that time of year again, when we all try to remember what we resolved to do this year and when we feel really guilty about how we “failed”.  You know, the “New Year’s Resolution” guilt is a bunch of goofiness, in my opinion.  Resolutions or goals aren’t static, they are meant to change with you, to grow with you as you change and as your circumstances change.  Thankfully, I have a blog that has a written confirmation of my thoughts at this time last year, so I can evaluate what changed, where I succeeded and where I still need to grow.

Post #1: A 7 quick takes


Well, looking at my brief resolution there “To become the best version of myself for this year.” I wouldn’t say that I “suceeded” but I certainly did not fail.   It’s quite ambitious, so I think I did pretty good on improving myself and becoming the best version of myself.

As for the “next one” referenced, he has not shown up in 2010, but he’ll be here awfully soon (in about 10 weeks, oh my!).

And with regards to loving days where I spend my time with Grace and clean and be all “housewifey”, well, yes, those are wonderful.  When I’m not pregnant.  Now I’d rather sit around and eat truffles, drink tea and read.  And Grace can entertain herself while I gestate, thank you very much.

Post #2: Resolutions/goals

Let’s review each one and see how I did!

  1. Work on financial peace (setting and keeping budgets, working to get out of debt, saving money, etc).
    Hm.  While I have more peace about finances, in particular that God will take care of them, I have NOT improved so much on the specifics.  Maintained a good amount of awareness, sure.  Improved or saved money?  HA!
  2. Blog more (feeds my creativity/intelligence) with the goal of eventually writing a book about… something.
    Well, blogging fell by the wayside in the summertime.  With good reason, I was busy busy busy and then pregnant pregnant pregnant.  That takes a lot out of a woman!  As for writing a book, well, I started one during Nanowrimo this year, but did not finish (nor did I hit the 50k goal).  But I read plenty of blogs, which fed my creativity and intelligence and I don’t feel that I “failed” this goal either.
  3. Feed my creativity by taking the Wilton cake decorating classes and scrapbooking.
    Check!  I took the first of the Wilton classes in 2010!  As for scrapbooking, not so much, but hey, at least part of this is a solid checkmark!
  4. Fully organize my home and develop cleaning habits so I’m never spending an entire month with my facebook status saying “Rachel is cleaning.. again”.
    Well this one got buggered up when we moved in the summer.  Moving while pregnant, especially early pregnancy, is possibly one of the stupidest things to do (at least for me).  However, the new house is at least as organized as the apartment and I’ve realized that I will always be cleaning.  It’s the job that never ends.
  5. Get in shape (not necessarily lose weight, just develop a fitness plan and stick to it).
  6. Spend time every day in some form of structured prayer.   Reading religious books does not count.
    Well, this one was one I totally forgot about.  Definitely didn’t happen, but at the same time, I do feel that I improved my prayer life.  Which is really more in the spirit of things.

And finally, my Word of the Year 2010. (sorry, there is no post about this, but it was the one thing I kept in my head the whole year.)

Last year at this time I read an awful lot of bloggers who were picking their “Word of the Year”.  And after this year, I think it is a MUCH better thing to do than an arbitrary list of goals.  For 2010, my word was Peace.  What did that mean for me?  I wanted to embrace the concept, I wanted to be more peaceful, to create peaceful environments around me and to avoid unnecessary stress and drama.  It was my number one value in this exercise and that’s why I chose it as my word.

So did I become a more peaceful person?  Emphatically YES!

For a brief example, I had a root canal yesterday.  Two nights ago I woke up with excruciating pain on the right side of my mouth.  My dentist had to refer me to an endodontist who determined that I needed an immediate root canal.  While there were certainly some tears shed over the sheer cost of this procedure and fear that I could lose my tooth, I also maintained an immense sense of calm.  Peace that all would be well, peace that even if things will be tight, it will be paid for and peace that even though it sucks God’s taking care of me.  My mother even commented on how calm I was about it all!   Heck, when it was all done, I went to the mall for several hours with my mom!

So yes, I feel that I have really made an effort to embrace peace in my life and in my self.  Does that mean I never have anxiety or drama?  No.  Does that mean my house is a peaceful sancturary where my husband comes home to order and cleanliness and a cold beer?  No, not on most days.  But in the grand scheme of things, peace is reigning.  God is taking care of me and my family and even through stress, He is keeping me full of peace.

I’m looking forward to spending the next couple days praying over my new Word of the Year (I have one in mind!) and also another fun thing that I’ll share with you tomorrow.  And I will still make some goals in different areas of my life, but it’s definitely going to be more loosey-goosey than my list from 2010!


Just do it!- Small Successes 2/18/10

Every week moms join together to celebrate their small successes of the week.  Join us at Faith and Family Live!

1.  I bought some clothes for myself that actually fit and look nice.  Hooray!

2. Chris and I are going to be taking on a side job for one of the vicariates.  It’s got a small stipend attached but it is one more way to help provide for our family.

3. I made it to adoration once this week.   It was heartbreaking in one way.  The church that has the 24/7 chapel also has a large high school.  That night, it was about 9pm and there were a ton of people there for something.  I went into the chapel and it was empty.  Jesus was all alone while you could hear girls laughing and cars going by.  I was only able to be with him for 15 minutes, but it was worth it.

Extra note: I was going to write a blog post about this for the Lenten series, but today has been a busy day (that’s not done yet).  At  mass yesterday my pastor told us a little story about Detroit’s Archbishop Vigneron.  Apparently he was talking to someone about Lent and said “Choose a few small things to do and do them well”.  I feel this is great advice and totally goes with my last Lenten post.  I hope everyone has chosen to do things within their ability and sanity limits and is working on doing them well!

Have a good day!

Facing the grief



See that little girl up there in Jesus’ arms?  That’s my baby sister, Celeste.  We’re coming up on her 5th birthday, March 14th.  It’s been 5 years, 5 long years. 

Today I did something brave.  At first, I didn’t think much of it.  And then I realized it was pretty significant. 

I drove to Children’s Hospital. 

Children’s is the hospital that Celeste was transfered to the night she was born.  She spent all four months of her life there in the NICU and the PICU.  Once I was home for the summer that year, most of our days were spent figuring out how Mom would get to the hospital, who was watching the boys and on some days, who was going with Mom.  

Lauren needed a ride to work (she works at Children’s now).  So, since I was babysitting Zeke I was the obvious choice.  I haven’t been down there since the day Celeste died, July 23 2005 (which happened to be the day after my 19th birthday). 

Guess what?  I didn’t cry.  I had to pause for a minute to collect myself at one point.  But I didn’t cry.  It was weird seeing the hospital again.  I hadn’t really remembered how to get there or what it looked like.  I didn’t want to remember.  I have blocked out most of that year and part of the next because my grief was too great. 

Sometimes I think it is still too great.  But I also remind myself that I have Christ.  That he’s not only holding Celeste, but he’s holding me too.  I haven’t done a lot in my griveing process.  I’ve been stuck in depression and denial for the last 5 years.  

Today, I think it’s time to start moving towards acceptance.  This Lenten season will be a time to grieve.   A time to really let myself remember, let myself experience the pain that I’ve been burying deep inside.  I’m going to find a copy of my Mom’s book, Broken and Blessed.  I’m going to let my heart break over the next 40 days.  I’m going to read and look at pictures and tell my Grace about her Auntie Cece.  

And then, come Easter, I will be blessed. 

Small Successes- 2/3/2010


Each week Faith and Family Live hosts “Small Successes”.  It’s a chance for moms to get together and share three small things that got done in the past week!


I managed to make it through one of the first tough weeks with Grace.  I’m still not sure what was up with her, but she was not happy for about 5 days.  She is now back to her smiling self, and so am I!


While the house isn’t perfect, I’ve made it a whole month with it fairly clean!  It’s really getting to a point of general “cleanliness” and the clutter is going down.


I cleaned the damaged (paint scratched) floor at the building where my civic theater performs.  During It’s a Wonderful Life a door frame was moved down this long hallway and it scratched the floor.  It was an hour and a half long job, but it is done.  And if anyone complains about it, I’m going to flip out.

What are your small successes this week?  Head over to F&FL and share them!

Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.

In my opinion, I have much more than “small” cheer and I have plenty of welcome for you here: at my new blog home!  I hope you will join me in this “feasting” today and in the coming days, weeks, months, and hopefully years!

The above quote is Shakespeare from The Comedy of Errors.  Anyone who knows me might think I pulled that out of my head, but no, while I did major in theatre, that does not mean that I read any plays (let alone Shakespeare)!  I thought though that today I would give you a bit more of a glimpse into who I am.  I imagine that most of you readers know me “IRL” (in real life), but some of you don’t and I feel like it’s odd to start off this bit of our friendship without you knowing who I am!

I am the oldest of 7 kids, six still struggling through life, one remarkably already in heaven (see brokenandblessed.com for more on Celeste).  My parents are forever 35 to me, are ridiculously fun to hang out with and are some of my closest friends.  I’m 23 (and a half, if you want to get particular) and married to my wonderful husband Chris.  I have one little girl, Grace Philomena (or Gracie Mena or Trouble depending on her mood).

I like books, chocolate, ice cream, Better Made BBQ potato chips and I’m trying to break my addiction to pop.  I prefer tea to coffee unless you are offering me a Java Chip Frappucino.

I graduated magne cum laude  in 2008 with my Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Theatre, Directing Concentration from the University of Detroit Mercy.  I don’t quite know how I managed such high honors considering I barely did any of my work, memorized scenes the day before and had a regular 3.0 GPA throughout college, or so I thought.

I live in the Detroit Michigan suburbs (West Side, not East, fo sho!).  I’ve lived in this area my whole life, except for the two years I spent at Franciscan University in Steubenville Ohio.  I was also homeschooled as a kid (2-12).  I was also quite nerdy.

I am on the board of directors for my local civic theatre and directed a show there this past December (It’s a Wonderful Life).

If I could open a business I’d either start a children’s theatre or a wedding planning business.

One of my all time favorite books is Jane Eyre.  My Disney Princess is Belle.  I still have my teddy bear (Olivia) as well as my favorite stuffed racoon (Noonie).

I am passionately Catholic.  I adhere to all the teachings of the Church, gladly I might add.  I am not afraid to call someone out on behavior that goes against God’s word.  I have spent the last 7  1/2 years on a message board as one of the “resident Catholics” forever beating the dead horses known as purgatory, Mary, the papacy and birth control (among others).  If I ever talk about “The Z” that’s the message board.  I’ve made some of my best friends on there, even if I’ve never actually met them.  I also met my husband on there.  But that’s a love story for another time.

I am a stay at home mom who also babysits her adorable and favorite (and only) nephew, Zeke.  He’s the offspring of my sister Lauren and her hubby, Giovanni (surprisingly he’s half Polish!).

I hope you enjoy my simple little blog and I sincerly hope that I can provide thought and life provoking posts.  If you ever have a question, feel free to ask!

Small Successes- 1/28/2010

1. Yesterday I finally got around to making a fake Applebee’s chicken fajita roll up.  It was tasty.  Different than the real deal, but still very very very good.  Of course, it took about 3 hours, including Chris going out to pick up some french fries and tortillas, but we still ate!

2. I managed to clean a bit.  I also realized that if I just do it, I could have the whole house clean in less than an hour.  I need to do that more often!

3.  I baked and decorated a beautiful cake for my favorite Grandpa’s 89th birthday.  I’m very proud of it.

What are YOUR successes this week?  Head over to Faith and Family Live to share yours, read more and enjoy the community!

Small successes – 1/7 edition


1. I have managed to stay relatively calm through a variety of VERY stressful situations this past week.  Both of our debit cards were “compromised” somewhere so we’re currently debit-card-less for 7-10 days.  Totally stressful (especially when you need gas!) but since I’m trying to be positive I guess I can just figure that this helps me not spend any money this week!  Other various events have caused a lot of stress, but I only teared up a bit yesterday.  MUCH better than normal.

2.  We haven’t eaten out this week except for one time to McDonald’s with gift cards from Christmas!  I made dinner the last few nights and overall we’re doing much better at eating healthy.  Chris and I also both got some fitness ideas and hopefully we will stick to them!  He’s going to get “Ripped in 6 weeks” with his new iron gym/perfect pushups/ab roller (gift from his parents, via a Kohl’s gift card.  He’s been wanting them forever!).  I’m going to try to get into a yoga/pilates routine (I need to work on flexibility/general fitness).  So yeah, we have tools and a plan!

3. Grace … oh Grace.  She’s just doing so well.  She has successes every day and I can never remember what they are!  She’s continuing to work on reaching out and moving while standing… walking in our near future, I can just sense it!