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Tis the season to be graduating. My sister graduated from the 5th grade, we attended the high school graduation party of a dear friend's daughter last week, and her older brother just graduated from college. My coworker's daughter graduated from the 8th grade last week and today we graduated from our RE.

What a strange feeling it is to be deemed "normal". To go to a regular doctor like everyone else. To only have an ultrasound once a month. I'm not going to lie. I cried. A lot. I will miss the familiarity of our RE's office, the staff and the comfort that comes with being more than just a patient.

Ironically, a year ago this week (July 2 to be exact) I triggered for the very first time. It was the beginning of the end of my first failed cycle. That Clomid cycle was the reason I left my OB and went to an RE immediately. And here we are a year later going from our RE back to that OB office with two babies in tow. To say I feel blessed would be the understatement of the century.

In reality I feel overwhelmed with gratitude and emotions I haven't even begun to tap into. I thought once this day came I would be able to return to the world of normal. To chat about a pregnancy like nothing from the last two years came before it. To talk about pack and plays and due dates and delivery methods like this was a world I belong to, a new world that I was always meant to be part of.

While my body is filled with new life, my heart is still filled with heaviness. Do we ever leave the scars from our past behind, or is it those scars that make us the people we are today? For now I'm embracing the sadness and the joy. I'm praying for those who are still waiting for their baby and I'm praying for all of my friends who have been blessed that they continue to be graced with good fortune.

Oh and before I forget, today's pictures. Arms, legs, fingers and toes. Today was by far the most amazing ultrasound we've had to date. They were babies and for the first time this felt REAL. 

Both babies were right on target with their growth and their heart rates. Baby A spins in circles and dances like a wild child. Baby B is a chill kid already. We feel bad for Baby B who is literally millimeters away from Baby A, and as a result is getting kicked and punched all day long. Our next scan will be in 2-3 weeks and we'll have a guess at the gender. It won't be exact but we think we already know what we have (we think it's a boy and a girl). 

Planner Follow Up

Found my 2011 planner, by accident, at Barnes and Noble yesterday. It is by Gallery Leather and it is the Large Monthly Planner. The month is unlined, but it spans an entire spread and it's book bound. The cover is nice and sturdy and looks expensive (sorry I like that feature!). Tons of note pages at the end. No frills. And only $20. 


In honour of St. Peter, Apostle

Simon Peter saith to them:
"I go a fishing."
(Jn. 21:3)

On the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul
Brother Ivan said that it would be a good day
to go a fishing.

Three set out in the boat at three o'clock.
They returned home in the evening
with a catch.

Jesus saith to them:
Bring hither of the fishes
which you have now caught.

(Jn. 21:10)

157 Mackerel
25 Coley Fish
11 Cod

At 10.10 p.m. the fish were nearly all processed
for the freezer.

In honour of St Peter:
193 Fish.
The best catch in a long time.

Deo gratias!

Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour, Sunday 27 June

Solemn First Vespers.

(Ps. CXXI.)

Laetatus sum in his, quae dicta sunt mihi :* ...
I rejoiced at the things that were said to me:
We shall go into the house of the Lord.

Magnificat Antiphon:
Sancta Maria, succurre miseris, ...
Holy Mary, succour those in misery,
strengthen the faint-hearted, comfort the sorrowful,
pray for the people, intercede for the clergy,
plead for all women consecrated to God.

... sentiant omnes tuum iuvamen, ...
May all experience Thy help -
all who are celebrating Thy holy feast.

Benedicamus Domino.
Let us bless the Lord.

Mass of the Feast.

Celebrated by Father Anthony Mary, F.SS.R.
on his 19th anniversary of Ordination.

Offerimus tibi, Domine, calicem salutaris, ...
We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the chalice of salvation,
beseeching Thy clemency,
that it may ascend in the sight of Thy divine majesty
with a sweet savour,
for our own salvation and for that of the whole world.

Haec quotiescumque feceritis,
in mei memoriam facietis.
As often as ye shall do these things,
ye shall do them in remembrance of Me.

19 weeks

That's how many weeks we have left to get our house ready for the babies. Our doctors told us to be ready to go by 29 weeks, just in case. At first I was like, 29 weeks, that's forever away. Until I started counting weekends we were actually in town this summer. Then I listed all the stuff we have to get done. And then I kind of freaked out a little.

Here's the T-19 Countdown List:

  • organize the basement and get ready for a yard sale (too much junk!)

  • move Joe's man cave down to the basement

  • spackle, sand, prime and paint the former man cave which will now be the guest bedroom

  • move all of the furniture from the current guest bedroom into the new guest bedroom

  • get an estimate from California Closets and a DIY estimate for our master bedroom closet (Joe's clothes are currently in the nursery closet, and now we need to fit his stuff in my closet too. No easy feat!) and have the closet system installed.

  • pick out carpeting for the nursery and hire a carpenter to replace the carpet

  • pick out furniture, paint and bedding for the nursery and DECORATE! (this is the fun part, but it's the absolute last step.)

I am probably most excited to get started on the nursery. If I could find out the babies' gender tomorrow I would. Once we find out I'm going to be a tornado of fabrics and paint swatches. Too much fun. Here are some cute nurseries I've had my eye on for a while.

Desperately Seeking

The perfect planner.

Yes, I still keep a paper planner. I like paper.

I like writing things down and looking at them.

I have been through many planners in my day,

but I haven't found the perfect one yet.

My first planners were day minders.

love that they had a monthly view and that the calendar was lined.

hated that they were spiral bound and either very large or very small.

I need a planner that is just right.

Then I bought the planner pad organizer.

I  loved that it had a monthly view with a notes page next to it.

But it had pages and pages of this insane weekly view,

too much granularity for me.

and again it is spiral bound or it comes in a binder.

I don't know which is worse. 

Then I bought a Sarah Pinto Planner.

I bought it because it was so cute,

and the money goes to a good cause.

I'm a sucker for causes.

But it was everything I hate in a planner wrapped up into one.

Too small. Spiral bound. Unlined. Crazy weekly view. Not enough notes pages.

This planner lasted three months before I threw it away.

My last planner purchase was a myAgenda.

This planner is 81% perfect.

Its monthly calendar is lined. It is book bound. 

And big enough to write in, but small enough to fit in my purse. 

So what's the problem? The crazy weekly views.

They have 18 categories of events each week, way too granular!

And the planner is a 17-month calendar so it's like 5" thick.

There are notes pages but they're so far in the back that they go unused.

So folks, I'm looking for the perfect planner. Again.

It needs to be book bound.


Monthly only.

Have notes pages.

Lots of them.

Be at least 5 x 7, but not much bigger.

I am happy with it just being a 12 month book.

And it wouldn't hurt if it was pretty.



Where would one go to find this LOVE poster,

or its brother the pillow version?


The end of the Roman pilgrimage

Although we have now returned from our pilgrimage, we were not able to post our last photos since we had no internet access, so here they are now.

We visited several churches. First on the list was St.Peter in chains.

The chains of St.Peter with which he was bound while in Rome.
For those unfamiliar with the story, the book of Acts describes the story well:
“Peter therefore was kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shined in the room. And he, striking Peter on the side, raised him up, saying: Arise quickly. And the chains fell off from his hands. (Acts 12:5-7)

We were able to say mass on the altar before the chains. St. John Chrysostom’s words on St. Paul’s chains apply equally to St.Peter’s: “No glittering diadem so adorns the head as a chain borne for Christ. Were the choice offered me either of heaven or of this chain suffered for Christ, I would take the chain. If I might have stood with the angels above, near the throne of God, or have been bound with Paul, I should have preferred the dungeon. Had you rather been the angel loosing Peter or Peter in chains? I would rather have been Peter. The gift of chains is something greater than power to stop the sun, to move the world, or to command the devils.” In the crypt behind the chains there is an altar with the relics of the 7 Machabees brothers, martyrs.

After mass we visited the Basilica of St. Mary Majors, the chief Marian Basilica in the world…

…and venerated the relics of our Lord’s crib which are kept there. The wood from the crib can be seen through the glass in the silver reliquary.

We next visited the church of St. Alphonsus, and prayed before the original icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour.

From there we visited the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

The table of the Last supper. The wood of the table can be seen through the transparent part of the reliquary.

Santa Maria in Aracoeli, built on the site of the ancient Roman capital, rises above the ruins of a temple to Juno Moneta. According to legend, the Emperor Augustus, disturbed by rumors that the Senate was about to honor him as a God, consulted the Tiburtine Sibyl, who prophesied the descent from the skies of "the King of the ages." As she spoke, the Emperor beheld a marvelous vision - the Virgin standing on an altar in a dazzling light and holding the baby Jesus in her arms - and heard a voice which said: "This is the altar of the Son of God." The Emperor immediately raised an altar on the site, the Ara Coeli, or altar of the heavens. The original altar now stands in the transept chapel in which St. Helena is buried and bears an inscription: Struxit Octavianus hanc aram coeli sacra proles dum patet ei. (Octavian built this altar when the offspring of heaven appeared to him.) The richly gilded ceiling was presented by the Roman senate in 1571, in thanksgiving to Our lady for the Victory over the Moslems at the Battle of Lepanto.

Father Anthony saying mass in the side chapel of St. Gregory in the Ara Coeli.

The body of the Franciscan Martyr St. John of Triora, martyred in China in 1816 lies below the altar.

There are 124 steps that one needs to climb in order to reach the Ara Coeli, which was once the highest point in Rome, until Mussolini built his monument to Victor Emmanuel. We were however told that the distinction of being the highest point in Rome now belongs to the Vatican Radio tower.

fully freelance

About a month ago, I made the decision to drop to part time at my job and go freelance. I met with a friend that started her own business and told her how nervous I was to leave my security blanket (aka my full time job) behind, she told me once you decide to go out on your own and you start letting people know, "trust me the work will roll in". 

Guess what? She was right. I'm up to my third freelance contract in a month. 

I cannot believe it.

My last official full time day at work is July 16. Trying to work two full time jobs right now is tough and I'm tired all the time. I never thought that work would come this quickly and I'm so excited at the success of this venture already.

There are so many loose ends that I need to tie up before I can call myself a small business owner. I'm reading into tax laws and home offices. I need to (FINALLY) get a cell phone number with a local area code. I mean, I've only lived here for 5 years, maybe it's about time. And I need to get a web presence up and running and have business cards made for networking events.

I thought about building my own website, and I may still do that. But my girlfriend introduced me to Creative Shift Design - they charged her $425 for her site and it was complete in less than a month. Perfect.

And one of my dear friends, Rebecca, is a couture stationery designer. I've turned to her to develop my business cards, letterhead and invoices. She's ridiculously talented. If you know of anyone with a wedding, shower or social event coming up and they need beautiful invitations, she's your gal. 

Here are some of the pictures I've sent Rebecca as my inspiration, 

I'm dying to see what she comes up with.

Okay, so cell phone, business cards, web presence, office space (just making space in our home), anything else I'm missing? If you're a small business owner feel free to leave any pearls of wisdom!

Inspiration Folders

I was going through my inspiration folder titled "kids rooms" and I think I noticed a trend. Maybe this is subliminal messaging? Wishful thinking? Who knows, but so random.


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