Friday, March 26, 2010

St. Joseph

March 19 was the solemnity of St. Joseph. You probably knew that. I really admire St. Joseph. I remember thinking as a teenager, that if the Virgin Mary was a virgin, then the Virgin Joseph deserves a little respect too! I've developed a devotion to him since I've been a dad, and wear a medal and include a special prayer to him with my morning devotion. And we named our home school after him.

I've been working very long hours lately and haven't had much time for reading blogs, got caught up on a couple this morning. And this was too good not to share. So, a week late, I recommend you read this poem, reflecting on why St. Joseph was absent at the time of the crucifixion of Christ:

Reason For His Absence

Isn't that wonderful?

Thursday, March 25, 2010


So, I thought I was doing 5K in 30 minutes. Turns out, it was more like 4K. Bummer. I measured out a full 5K circuit through our neighborhood on google maps, and it took me 36 minutes to complete on Tuesday. But it was pretty cold and windy that morning, and I was more tired and sore than usual. At least I went out, even if it wasn't very good. I was initially a little bummed at how slow I am, but I remembered that a few weeks ago I thought I might collapse after only 5 minutes, so I decided to just be happy that I made the distance. The speed will surely improve with practice. Also the new shoes need to be fully broken in, so I've got plenty of good excuses here. Did I mention that this route has more elevation change than I'm used to? ;) I did it in 33 minutes today.

30 minutes on race day would make me exceedingly happy, but I have realistic expectations. My real goal is simply to not come in last. I figure there will be enough walkers to accomplish that. I fully expect to get smoked by a bunch of 12-year-olds, but I'd like to beat at least one other man, one woman, and one old person. To not lose my age group would also be nice. (Evidently you can choose whether to be timed or un-timed. I assume anyone who elects to be timed will be putting forth some degree of effort, so if I actually do beat someone else, I'll be really impressed.) Let's hope there are some hares who burn out early so this tortoise can overtake them down the home stretch!

I've done amazingly well at fund raising. I hadn't really planned on doing any serious fundraising, I was just going to pay my entrance fee and maybe take the sign-up sheet they send you to my office and ask a few folks there to consider a small donation. But when you register online, you can set up a website for taking donations, and they create a sample email for you. So I sent that out to relatives, friends, and some coworkers. I know people hate being asked for money - I routinely ignore fundraisers from other people. So I set a nice low goal of $150 and sent out email solicitations. Well, that was blown out in a couple hours, so I bumped it to $500. I met that today, and bumped it once more to $750. Don't know if that's attainable, but my own managers have yet to contribute anything, and I'm fairly certain I can count on them for at least a few bucks. (Aren't you pretty much obligated as an overpaid manager to give $5 or $10 to your employee who's running for the battered women's shelter? Seriously, don't be a cheapskate...) A few others have said they will donate cash or checks instead of online. A couple more have said they'll get back to me after payday. So I'm really impressed by the response, and grateful.

If any of you readers would like to contribute, leave a comment and I'll get you the info. If you know my real name, you can search for me at this link.

Otherwise, just pray that I stay upright and don't embarrass myself.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Finding out news that my sister is with child or had a child has certainly evolved over the years.

Eight years ago we were told while she was pregnant... everyone was happy... that doesn't necessarily include Daddio and I. My sister was living out of state, with a man she had met online, was unwed, blah blah blah... but my parents were thrilled... the first grandchild!

Two and half years ago I received a phone call from my sister explaining to me she was pregnant, with a different father, didn't know how far along she was, could I help her find medical help, and would we consider adopting this child. (We knew she wasn't serious about the last part... but we did attempt to help her, she just never bothered to do anything.)

Last year, at my niece's 7th birthday my dad pulls me aside and tells me that my sister had another baby (my sister hadn't bothered to attend the party), he was in NICU and had already been there for several weeks. He felt like he better go ahead and let us know just in case my niece spilled the beans during the party.

Last Tuesday, a late phone call from my father (Daddio spoke to him) just letting us know that my sister had another baby boy that afternoon (no name given, we didn't find that out til this week).

In most families the addition of a baby is heralded, celebrated among the members...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Run, Forrest

I did't quit yet. I made it to 30 minutes which I estimate to be approximately 5K. I plan to run my first event on April 10th. I'm happy with myself for actually completing the whole program, and look forward to continuing. I feel that my long term weight goal is attainable, and I do feel more energetic throughout the day, even these last couple weeks which have been especially stressful at work. This was a good idea.

I got a modest bonus at work earlier this month, so I gave MommaLlama her "performance review" - she passed ;) - and we each took a little cash to do whatever we wanted with. I'm sure she'll post all about her new Cricut accessories.

I spent my allowance on a new pair of running shoes today. I figured some new gear would keep me motivated. And I'd been holding off spending any money until I was satisfied that I had actually stuck with the plan. So, a little reward. The new shoes weigh about half as much as my old shoes, they fit amazingly well, and are nice and cushy, yet supportive. They're also too expensive... I'll keep my eyes open for this same brand and model number on sale at some shoe outlet type place next time. But I wanted to visit an actual running store and be fitted by someone who knew what they were doing, and I think they deserve the business this time, for the good service. I also grabbed a new shirt from the clearance rack. And a reflective vest, as all my running is early in the morning on roads. Not busy roads, but I figure those people who have just left their houses and not had their coffee and already fiddling with their blackberries probably aren't watching for joggers. And the sidewalks are not as smooth as the road, so that guy who flashed his light at me last week should just chill, I'm not taking up too much room. Anyway, no more kid's blinky bicycle light stuck to my waistband.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sick Day

MommaLlama is sick. Unpleasantness all night and through the morning. Mostly peaceful resting since about noon today, fever appears to be breaking. She's been less than 100% for nearly a month now, and the sudden setback is discouraging.

I was able to pawn the boys off on some friends for most of today so I could go to work. And my mom had already offered to keep them tomorrow so that we could have a day off. I doubt she'll be ready to go out with me, but will be great just to keep the house quiet, and give the boys something fun to do again. They really are good about hushing up when someone needs peace and quiet, but you can only expect so much of that.

Hopefully she will be back on her feet by Sunday. I'm not one of those helpless bumbling moron dads that can't manage a household... I just don't like doing it alone. Plus we've both had long weeks at the office, and were looking forward to a relaxing weekend. And, needless to say (but better say it anyway) I hate to see her suffering. Usually when she's just mildly crummy, she gets really industrious and cleans and organizes things, like bathrooms and refrigerators. I end up bribing her back to bed. For her to stay down so long voluntarily is pretty rare, and pretty serious. Prayers are appreciated.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Suffering,.. I'll take another helping of that!

The past 12 weeks I've been on a spiritual journey that I have really enjoyed (now I'm on round 2, woohoo!). The name of the study is Light Weigh, it is a combination of catechesis, scripture study, and lives of the saints... all under the umbrella of the redemptive nature of suffering... with a side bonus of losing some weight!

No one likes suffering, am I right, but kind of like that phrase, "turn that frown upside"... you can use suffering for to bring you closer to God, and to bring other to God!!

I heard some very interesting stuff on suffering last night at the Lenten talks at our church (some stuff I knew, and some was completely new to me). Steve Kellmeyer's series on Suffering starts with the Passion (good place to start, right!). Let me see if I can relay the information...

  • Pain (suffering) is to detach ourselves from THINGS. (i.e. humiliation is to detach ourselves from pride)
  • We each have suffering for two main reasons... because of ourselves, (and) or because of someone else.
  • We, as parents, have the authority to offer up the suffering for our children if they are unable to offer it up themselves. Of course if are children are suffering, then so are we and should be offering up our suffering for them.
  • Christ did not NEED Simon's help to carry the cross... He actually wanted the whole cross for Himself, but he allowed Simon to help because Simon had need of suffering for some reason (this was completely new to me). This should be a model for us. When we are suffering and someone is there to help us... we should allow them to because they have a shared benefit in our suffering (the example he gave was when you are sick and someone wants to clean/cook/care for you, you should not refuse because you want to do those things yourself... you have a duty in a sense to allow them to help you... yes I know Daddio it was like he was speaking directly to ME... I get it).
  • Can suffering actually be enough to aid salvation (works/penance)? Short answer is NO, but it is necessary...think of it this way... can a child pay for an entire window (or an entire house in Steve's example) when he sends a baseball through the window? No, but he does have to pay something, right... allowance or something... but the actual burden will rest on the homeowner/insurance/child's parents... but in giving his allowance, something that he CAN do, it will help him learn and make reparation within his ability. WE can't fully rectify with our Heavenly Father for our own sins... it's impossible on earth. We can offer reparation in the best way we can through works and penance, Christ took care of the rest on the Cross with His suffering.
  • The Passion... usually we think of SUFFERING... right?! Christ on the Cross... remember that the term really is LOVE.
  • A beautiful Apostolic Letter by the late great JPII on the beauty of redemptive suffering: Salvific Doloris
Alright, peeps... suffering is good for your soul!

*Remember, you're not special (to desire to be special is pride and vanity)... you are PRECIOUS to our Heavenly Father... which is so much more!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Thirty Something

That's me now... I'm officially thirty something! Last week I turned 31!

I've never been one to be hung up about age. It really didn't bother me when I turned 30, although I think I expected to feel different, to look in the mirror and see something... anything that would make me feel thirty... but nothing really. I kind of thought the same way about turning 31. Although I was sick (still am, stupid 2 month long sinus infection), I was certain I would look in the mirror and see a grown-up... I mean 31 is definitely a grown-up right?

What is weird is remembering what I thought about 30 or 30 somethings when I was in my early teens and even my early twenties. It always just seemed that they were so much older (not in a bad way... just older). Now that I'm here, and maybe it is just me... it just isn't what I expected. I suppose I thought it would be finding confidence in all things, feeling put together, having stuff figured out... hmmmm... turns out, at least for me... I really don't feel any different than I did in my twenties. Heck, I really don't look any different either (at least to me).

So, to some up my thought on now being thirty something... age is just a number! I guess all the things I thought would magically happen when I hit my thirties... either already happened earlier or I have yet to figure it out, but ultimately it had nothing to do with age!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Progress report

25 minutes. That's a long time. Feels like it anyway. I reckon it to be a little over two miles, which makes me a little slow. The program says 3 miles, or 5K, should be done in 30 minutes. I've been going on time, not distance. First I want to get the time up, then I can try to get faster.