Friday, February 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes, Volume 14

{story of a soul, condensed}

Visit Jen at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

{1} Andrew and I are teaching our first NFP class tomorrow!  It's been almost a year since we became certified, so I'm more than a little nervous.  Pray for us!

{2} At this time next week, I'll be in Albuquerque, New Mexico!  I'm so looking forward to turning Andrew's work trip into a little Valentine's Day getaway and to taking plenty of pictures.  Deme has been so sweet in sharing some of her favorite local restaurants and activities with me, and we're excited to meet for a little date...can you help me add to my to-do list?

{3}  On a sort of similar note, I was reading an article recently where the author shared 10 things he does on every trip, like bringing home some local honey and wandering by foot, not just in a car.  I'm not super frequent traveler, but I'd love to know: do you have any little travel rituals like these?  I'd love to adopt them myself!  Generally, I try to never eat at a chain while I'm in a new city (with, since I'm from the East Coast, the exception of In-N-Out Burger), and I love to explore thrift stores and flea markets in other parts of the country.



{4} My friend Tara and I just spent an evening making Valentines.  Andrew goes to a men's group at our church once a week, and on the night when he's out, I usually end up doing something he'd never enjoy, like watching Dawson's Creek (I know...) while I give myself a manicure.  It was so nice having someone to share the girliness with!

{5} As Lent approaches, I have to admit that I haven't given much thought or prayer yet to what I'll be doing this year.  In the past, I've given up makeup, given up shopping, and tried, several times, to read St. Faustina's Diary before Divine Mercy Sunday (I've never finished it!); I haven't decided yet if these particular sacrifices will have the same fruits for me now as they did when I chose them.  I get that, by nature, Lenten promises can be more of a private thing, but if you feel like sharing yours, I'd be happy to hear about them and to join you in prayer.

{6} I just finished the book Beyond the Sling, about a method of parenting called attachment.  Attachment parenting seems to mirror a fair amount of practices that are popular among Catholic moms, like natural birth, breastfeeding, homeschooling, and wearing your baby often in a sling or carrier.  I wasn't sure I agreed entirely with all the aspects of the book, but I did really enjoy reading it, and it helped me realize that while books are one thing, real-life parenting is another--to me, it seems not just okay, but healthier even, not to exclusively subscribe to one parenting label or method.  Your thoughts?  I would be so interested to hear them!

{7} Maybe I made my Valentines already, but after I found this roundup of chic/adorable/delicious-looking Valentine's Day ideas, I knew I couldn't stop at cards.  Have a look!  This is seriously one of the sweetest Valentine project collections I've ever seen.  I definitely have my eye on those arrows... 

Have a wonderful weekend!  Anything exciting going on?



29 comments:

  1. Hi Stephanie! You're right on the money when it comes to parenting philosophies. It's good to read, research and discuss with your husband these different methods, but you're absolutely right, real life parenting is a whole different ballgame. In my (limited) experience, I've found that you really have to wait and meet your little one(s) and learn who they are as a person. You might find some aspects of certain methods will work for your child (and your marriage and family), and other methods will not. And that's ok :)

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    1. That's so good to know; thanks, Ellen!

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  2. Hey :) Regarding #6, I completely agree--it's neat to see all of the ways out there, but there isn't necessarily one right way for all--it's all going to come down to what works for your little one. I have friends who have been really put down for not doing certain ways, but ultimately, it's a choice you all will make in the right moment.

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    1. I think you're so right--what is it about parenting that makes everyone want to toss in their opinion?! Speaking of meeting your little one...miss you! xoxo

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    2. I think people feel very vulnerable about their decisions--raising children is (in my opinion) the most important thing I'll ever do. I think a lot of people feel the same way. There are so many decisions and anxiety with them. People worry they make the wrong ones and, like most topics, they get upset if someone is doing something different--it makes them worry they aren't doing the right thing. Sooo everyone has an opinion! Be prepared the moment you announce your first pregnancy for lots of feedback. Take the meat, spit out the bones.

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  3. Good luck with teaching tomorrow! That is so exciting, and I will be praying for the two of you!

    Cute Valentine's card! :) I hope you have an amazing getaway in Albuquerque! I can't wait to see pictures!!

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    1. Thanks for your prayers, Caitlin! Have a good weekend =)

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  4. That is so cool you are a teaching couple! I will definitely be praying! I hope you have fun in NM next week!
    Have a great weekend!

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  5. Hi Stephanie! I read Beyond the Sling last summer, and I felt pretty much the same way you did after reading it. There are some aspects of attachment parenting (AP, to make things a little easier!) that I definitely follow; natural childbirth, breastfeeding, babywearing, and co-sleeping to an extent (our baby will sleep in a bassinet in our room for about 6-7 months, mainly to make nighttime feedings easier). EC...definitely not for us, although we cloth diaper. I have zero desire to homeschool, my husband and I are very pro-vaccination, etc. So yeah. I definitely agree you have to do what works for you and your family!

    As far as Lent, this year I will be giving up sweets-as a pregnant mama due right around Easter, I've been indulging WAY too much lately!-and I'm making the commitment to pray the Rosary every day. I made the same promise last year, but unfortunately I didn't follow through.

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    1. There seems to be a trend here of not labeling yourself with one parenting philosophy and knowing your own children and your own desires as parents. Thanks for your input, Marisa! I'll say a prayer for your Lent...I struggle with the Rosary, too--"daily" usually turns into "3 or 4 times a week," but I want to be more consistent!

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  6. #6-so true! One of the biggest pieces of advice about parenting is to never compare yourself to other parents and/or their parenting style. No 2 babies are the same and so if you decide to strictly follow one mentality and it doesn't work, you can end up feeling like a failure. Choose a few core items that are important to you: breastfeeding, baby carrying, etc and try to implement them, but if they don't work for your baby, don't stress out! My little man didn't like the sling, but he is still attached to me and I don't think that not caryring him in a sling was detrimental to his development. Same goes for L&D: you never know what cirmcumstances will occur, so just take it as it comes! Sounds like a lot of non-advice, but it has been working for us! Cute valentines too! :)

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    1. Actually, that sounds like a lot of advice! Thanks so much, Lauren!

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  7. I love those cards!

    We are attachment parents. The important thing to understand about it is that it is a spectrum. No two families look the same. So you don't have to subscribe to each and every aspect of it to join the AP "club." :) To echo and add to a couple of comments above: each baby is different and needs different things, just as each parent is different and can provide different things. AP is actually based on the philosophy of understanding your baby and listening to him/her and your own instincts rather than to a prescribed list of rules.

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    1. Thanks, Micaela! I'm glad my instincts were right about not wanting to join a particular parenting "club," just like you say--your approach, and the other ones here, seem so much more balanced and critical, rather than a blind following. Have a good weekend!

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  8. Love the cards and the girlie-night! Have a wonderful trip!

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    1. Thanks so much! If only we lived nearby, I would totally invite you to girls night =)

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  9. Good luck with teaching class! I'm teaching myself postpartum STM right now, prepping for the imminent arrival of our little one. I'll have to let you know how that goes! :)

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    1. Thanks so much! I'd love to hear about your experience; a few of my friends have had a lot of confusion with STM postpartum and have switched to fertility monitors. I can't wait to see babygirl when she's born!!

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  10. Your prayer request will be added to my prayers. Have a good weekend.

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    1. Thanks so much, Nikita! Your prayers must have worked, because our class went as smoothly and enjoyably as could be =)

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  11. Ok, those Valentine's cards are the cutest!!! And that's so great you guys are teaching NFP :) What method? Have a great time on your trip with your hubs!

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    1. Thank you! We teach the Sympto-Thermal method. And yes, so super excited for our trip!

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  12. yea for teaching NFP!!! pass along that beauty that can only be found in a marriage committed to God!
    I too agreed and did most of the attachment parenting stuff...not all of it, but what worked for us..
    OI am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.
    have fun!!!!

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    1. Thanks so much! Everything went wonderfully on Saturday. I just subscribed to your blog; looking forward to exploring!

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  13. Well, your NFP teaching has certainly given me the necessary push to go update my chart. (I have charting fatigue this month.) I hope your class has gone well!

    I should say that I'm from California and I have never been to an In-N-Out Burger. It is a sad truth. I'd never even heard of it until I moved to Chicago.

    As for Lent, I'm giving up caffeine, but I started dialing down my daily intake two weeks ago, so I'm not sure I would recommend it as a sudden fast.

    I am pro-baby slings from a distance, only because no mother (or nanny) in our neighborhood is pushing a stroller that costs less than $1000 CAD.

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    1. May I suggest In-N-Out as your pre-Lenten feast?!

      Caffeine's definitely a good sacrifice, and you're smart to have lessened your intake before now. I'm not a huge coffee drinker, but my best friend consumes it constantly, and had horrible headaches each year she gave it up in college. I've found some good suggestion lists out there, like this one!

      http://www.nicksenger.com/onecatholiclife/101-practical-fasting-ideas-for-lent-redux

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  14. So happy to find your blog Stephanie! We really enjoyed having you over at lunch yesterday. I ran into Claire and Kevin at Mass. They said they "loved you" --so great job. Go NFP! Hope to see you in Martinsburg soon!

    I agree-- I think our parenting approach is a "little bit of this and a little bit of that." When I started, I was really insecure. I like to have a "theory" or a parenting approach. Now I really appreciate prayer and flexibility. Each kid is different and even though I'm the same Mom, I'm in slightly different places each newborn period--so I'm learning how to be more creative and less hard on myself when things go differently than I planned.

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    1. You're too sweet, Abigail! Thank you so much for such a wonderful afternoon, and we'd love to stop by again next month! If I'm being honest, we enjoyed ourselves so much that I'm prepared to just drive up and knock on your door, but I know there are rules about these things =)

      Thanks for the parenting advice! Hope you enjoyed the rest of your weekend!

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