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My 2011 "I Will" List

Oh well that it's basically March and I'm just now getting around to my goals for the year. I guess that means I'll have to work harder to get everything accomplished. I actually think that my list is quite manageable (albeit, long) this year.

Financial Goals

  • Put away $600 for each baby's 529 Plan

  • Pay down 20% of our mortgage (a 2010 goal that was reassigned due to the twins' birth)

  • Double our savings

House Goals

  • Finish the basement

  • Move last year's perennial garden in an effort to not fight the damn willow tree that grows like a gremlin

  • Actually furnish and decorate our master bedroom

  • Hold a garage sale, donate whatever doesn't sell to charity

Career Goals

  • Stop feeling guilty for giving up my career to stay at home with my kids

Mommy Goals

  • Remember to take pictures and videos of the babies at least weekly

  • Slow down and enjoy the little moments as crazy as they are

  • Nurse the twins for 6 months

  • Record milestones and development

  • Enroll in swim lessons and a mommy and me class and enjoy this time while they are little and everything is new

  • Get my other kids out of the freezer and give them a shot at life

Personal Goals

  • Cook at home three times per week

  • Make more time for family and friends

  • Lose my baby weight and rock a bikini in Nantucket this summer

Fitness Goals

  • Complete the C25K program and get back in running shape

  • Run one 5K, one 10K and one half marathon

  • Find road races to run with the twins

  • (starting in July) Take time for myself to spin twice a week and run with my girlfriends (sans babies) once per week

  • Run 250 miles this year

A peaceful transition?

Rev. Fr Hugh Green O.F.M.

There are some who believe that the Reformation in England was, by and large, a fairly slow and peaceful affair, with the old Catholic Religion giving place to the new protestant one. Nothing could, in fact, be further from the truth. Catholics were bitterly and brutally persecuted in an attempt to force them into submission. The following relation of the martyrdom of Rev. Fr Hugh Green, O.F.M. was especially moving and I felt it should be published for all to see so that the sufferings that Catholics have had to endure for their Faith may not be forgotten. It is the manuscript account of a pious Catholic woman who was present at his execution and forms part of his life written by Bishop Richard Challoner in his “Memoirs of Missionary Priests and other Catholics” which will soon be able to be found in our library. It is quite long and so part of it has been hidden and can be shown by clicking the “Read more” link.

Upon Wednesday before the sentence of death being given against him by judge Foster, he said, Sit nomen Domini Jesu benedictum in sæcula. "May the name of the Lord Jesus be for ever blessed." He should have died upon Thursday, and to that end the furze was carried to the hill to make the fire, and a great multitude of people were in the streets, and at the gate, and lanes, to see the execution. But our great martyr, did desire to die on Friday, the which was by a friend of his procured of the sheriff, though with very much difficulty, being opposed by Millard, the master keeper. And it was noted, that after his sentence he never went to bed, and eat but very little, scarce enough to sustain nature; yet he was very cheerful and full of courage to the last. Now I beseech our Lord to put his words into my memory, that I may especially relate them, for I have a great scruple to add or take away: and therefore I have had the help of a true servant of God, who was attentive at his death…. Much admired was his devotion: he kneeling on the hurdle made his prayer, and kissed it before he lay down upon it, and continued his prayers until he came to the place of execution. Then he was taken from the hurdle, and stayed on the hill a good stance from the gallows, until three poor women were hanged: two of them had sent him word the night before, that they would die in his faith. O! what comfort was this to God's true servant who did all which was possible to see and to speak with them, but could not. Then they sent again to desire him, that when they had made a confession of their sinful life at the gallows, and should give him a sign, that he then should absolve them. The which with great joy on his part, and much benefit, (I hope,) on theirs, was performed: they two turning their faces towards us, and throwing forth their arms, cried out to him, God be with you, sir; and so died: but the third woman turned from us, towards the press of people, and so she died, her face or speech never tending towards us. Now, I also noted that our martyr's charity in this short time of life was not unrewarded; for God of his mercy was pleased to yield him the like comfort, by a reverend father of the Society of Jesus, who was there on horseback to absolve him, the which with great devotion and reverence, taking off his cap, and lifting up his eyes and hands to heaven, he received from him. I cannot but bless God to see the magnanimity of these two, the holy martyr and that reverend father. The one being at the point of death, with such comfort as his cheerful countenance expressed; and the other not apprehending the great danger he was in to be taken by the rude multitude, of whom he should have found no mercy. Now, is our martyr brought to the foot of the ladder by the sheriff, where falling upon his knees, he remained in devout prayer almost half an hour: then he took his crucifix and Agnus Dei from his neck, and gave them to this devout gentlewoman, my assistant in this relation; and his beads he gave to another; also he gave the master-keeper his handkerchief. And last of all to me most unworthy, he gave his book of litanies, &c., also from the gallows he threw me down his band, spectacles, and priest's girdle. Then turning himself to the people, and blessing himself with the sign of the cross, he began:Read more >>

2011 handmade olympics celebration...

how terribly thrilling to find out moi, my granny knickers, you and your knick knacks of choice have nabbed ourselves not one but two medals in the peachy handmade olympics of 2011!!
one GOLD for fave thifty site and one SILVER for fave inspiring goodie

truly this is quite remarkable and such an occasion cannot pass without some kind of 'hurrah hooray' celebration thingy. have you noted it seems to be all we do these days 'hurrahing' there and 'hooraying' here, still it would be most 'non hurrahing and non hooraying' of me not to mention this moment of goodness.

so my dearest readers, it would appear along with the medals comes wonderful prizes in the way of gift certificates to peachy stores on Etsy. the generosity of these folks is amazing and so yesterday not only did i hear the peachy news of the results but also i have been given $250 worth of gift certificates!

as i mentioned before, in my athletic world, everyone is a winner and so i wish to pass these 'winnings' onto you my dearest readers, for without your voting kindness i would not have won.

i decided after some pondering to go back to my 'random button picker thingy' of tuesday and despite it's kinda pants way of picking i have found 5 lovely folks to gift these 5 lovely gifts to.
first button number was Sharon #48
i doubled it to get
the next button winner, which was Heather #96
this morning i roughly divided the remaining entrants after button #96 and found my winners that way. it was not a perfect division job by any means but i did the best my failing eyesight and scrolling abilities could manage without being driven to madness, so forgive me and my slightly inaccurate ways...

and so without further a do we have the winners of the handmade olympic gift certificates
so kindly given by these lovely etsy folks, whom i might add were more than delighted i should wish to pass these on, such is their niceness

and the 5 fabby winners are

maria (angel in the attic)

congratulations my dearies! i will be getting in touch shortly after i have let Little Olive and Used Dog out to play 'snow angels', giving you all the nitty gritty you need to claim your prizes.

of course i wish i could hand out prizes to each and everyone of you, however i hope you will be most happy to wear today's 'gold sticky star' complete with 'olympic champion' written by Little Olive and Used dog, who stayed up most late last night working on them.
yes some have letters missing as their little paws do have trouble holding a pencil, but it is the thought which counts.
please wear your gold stars with pride, i have placed mine upon my granny knickers, so when i go to the grocery store this afternoon, i will know underneath my 'everyday plain clothed in disguise ordinary folk' attire, an olympic gold and silver medalist is lurking... i suggest you do like wise :)

and with that, i must just say once again, a large thank you for your votes, for once again being most kind to me, for your lovely comments this past week and just for generally being the peachiest readers one could ask for.

she is hoping your weekend is full of goodness, a little bit of peachiness and indeed why not some peskiness, cause who doesn't love a bit of pesky in their lives ~ Tif

Message of Hope and Comfort from the Prime Minister of New Zealand

The Right Honourable
John Key
Prime Minister of New Zealand.

New Zealanders have woken to a tragedy unfolding in the great city of Christchurch.

The earthquake that struck the Canterbury region at ten to one yesterday has wreaked death and destruction on a dreadful scale.

There is no reason that can make sense of this event.

No words that can spare our pain.

We are witnessing the havoc caused by a violent and ruthless act of nature.

Many people have lost their lives. Families have lost their cherished loved ones. Mates have lost their mates.

These deaths are the greatest loss.

They remind us that buildings are just buildings, roads just roads, but our people are irreplaceable.

Today all New Zealanders grieve for you Christchurch.

To all those who woke up in Christchurch today feeling lucky to be alive, we know that you too are shocked, unnerved and grieving.

We know that your loss is sharpened by fear.

Our minds go to the mothers and fathers comforting children struck by anxiety and disbelief.

They go to the elderly, infirm and isolated who experienced this event alone and who remain blunted by shock.

And they go to each and every Cantabrian who has stoically endured six months of aftershocks, only to be hit by the biggest shock of all.

On behalf of New Zealand let me say to all of you: We feel your pain, as only a small nation can, for none of us feel removed from this event.

I am a proud son of Christchurch. I was raised there, I got my first job there, my sister lives there, my mother died there, I know what a wonderful place it is.

But my connection to Christchurch is no rare thing.

All New Zealanders have a piece of our heart in Christchurch.

All of our lives are touched by this event.

A friend or family member who lives there. A time spent studying there or a memorable experience had there.

We feel connected to your suffering. Your tragedy is our tragedy.

Today I want Christchurch to hear this message:

You will get through this.

This proud country is right behind you and we are backing you with all our might.

The world is with us.

Our Australian neighbours, our British and American friends, the great countries of this world, all are putting their shoulder to your wheel. They are sending their support, their expertise, their people to help us.

Christchurch, today is the day your great comeback begins.

Though your buildings are broken, your streets awash, and your hearts are aching, your great spirit will overcome.

While nature has taken much from you, it can not take your survivor’s spirit.

This devastating event marks the beginning of a long journey for your city.

It will be a journey that leads us from ruins and despair to hope and new opportunities. From great hardship will come great strength.

It will be a difficult journey, but progress is certain, things will get better, Christchurch will rise again.

On behalf of the Government, let me be clear that no one will be left to walk this journey alone.

New Zealand will walk this journey with you. We will be there every step of the way.

Christchurch; this is not your test, this is New Zealand’s test.

I promise we will meet this test.

Today and tomorrow our focus must be on preserving lives, on rescuing those who are trapped and treating those who are injured.

We pay tribute to the hundreds of search and rescue workers, emergency personnel, medical professionals and each and every person who is contributing to this effort.

You are heroes amongst us.

Already the bravery and resilience of Canterbury is on show.

In the weeks ahead our journey will take us to new obstacles, new challenges.

We have a city to rebuild. We have peoples’ livelihoods to restore. We have a community’s confidence to inspire.

We will rise to these challenges.

We will rebuild this city resolutely, and with the conviction that this is what it is to be a Cantabrian, what it is to be a New Zealander.

We are a country of pioneers. Whether we came by waka, sailboat, or aeroplane, we came with the conviction that we could build a new life in this country.

That great pioneering spirit will come to the fore in Christchurch over the coming months and years.

Though lost lives will never be replaced, and though your city will never look the same again, you will rebuild your city, you will rebuild your lives, you will overcome.

We have seen many cities in the world come back from disasters on this scale, and Christchurch will be no exception.

I know that all New Zealanders stand ready to help.

Right now, we can help by rallying around those who are grieving, supporting those whose livelihoods are in peril.

My message to all Kiwis who want to help is - act on that desire.

No act of kindness is too small.

Right now, you can help by offering support to friends and family who are hurting. Offer them a bed or a roof over their head if that is what they need. Make your donations to help those who have been hit hardest.

As infrastructure recovers, your visits to Christchurch will be welcome.

Above all, throughout this journey, offer those affected your love. Know that your humanity is more powerful than any act of nature.

As we look to the future, New Zealanders should know that the Government is going to do everything we can to support the recovery and rebuilding of Christchurch.

We are a resilient nation, and we will not bow down to this challenge.
23 February, 2011

things to like, cont'd

things to like:

* a snow day at mossy shed
* little olive and used dog early this morning

* yarn to save my sanity with another day off school
* setting aside iffy coloured yarny project and learning to crochet bobbles

* new love of bobbly crochet resulting in a need for crocheting bobbles all day long
* a little corner set aside for 'bobbly crocheting sanity saving' moments during the snow day

she is thinking this could be the beginnings of some sweet sweet times with Mr Hook ~ Tif

When to Quit

I guess the title pretty much sums up the post.

Everyone says that the first 6 weeks of nursing are the hardest and here we are at 6 weeks. Reese still fights me on the latch 3 out of 8 feeds a day and Ryan happily nurses but he's aggressive nursing him still hurts. They are both spitting up like mad these days and are both dealing with gas issues.

I must change our sheets 5 times a week because a kid will spit up so hard that they overshoot the burp cloth and hit our bed.

I tandem feed sometimes, but they seem to distract each other or I'm dealing with one falling off and then having to try to relatch them with one hand. And neither is taking a full feed when they are tandem nursing - probably because I'm not giving them my full attention and keeping them focused.

It's hard enough to feed two kids every three hours, but even more exhausting when they fall off schedule with one another.

Last week when we were traveling for the funeral is when I really started to question what I was doing nursing the babies. The whole experience was so isolating. Because of the situation and travel times between my in laws home and the funeral home and reception the babies mostly took bottles. When we were at my in laws' home they were also taking bottles because there were so many family members in from out of town that I let them bottle feed so they could spend more time with family and I just left the room to pump instead.

So here I am sitting in a car in a parking lot during a funeral service pumping or in a guest bedroom by myself pumping while family sat in the kitchen eating pizza. I got to come out and microwave my dinner and eat alone.

I'm not comfortable nursing in public, so I'm pretty limited by what I can accomplish outside of our home. I pack bottles when I run errands just in case, but I try to stay on schedule so most of the time I save errands for the one day a week my mother's helper is here or I leave them for my husband.

I keep waiting for the magical nursing moment that people talk about where you feel like you're bonding with your baby and forging a special relationship with them that only you can have. Instead I feel like I move from feed to feed like a machine. I don't know if I'm too hard on myself or if that's just a reality of nursing more than one baby. I mean, at the end of the day I'm feeding another human being 20 times in a 24 hour period. Where is the downtime to cuddle and snuggle and bond? I'm not really sure it exists.

With the weather getting nicer I feel like I don't want to be trapped inside by nursing the babies. And I just started working out again and I'm (selfishly) feeling like I want my body back. My boobs have a life of their own and nearly knocked me unconscious during spin class on Monday.

Some days I'm absolutely ready to quit and other days I feel like I can make it another 19 weeks. I just feel so guilty. Obviously I want what is best for the babies and everything you read says that breastmilk through six months is what's best. Aside from some issues with blocked ducts and milk blisters, I haven't had it too hard. I have enough supply to feed both babies. I'm not even sure that switching to formula would make life easier, but I can't help feeling like it would at least make feedings more predictable and easier to do at the same time.

Anyone go through this? If you quit, looking back did it make things easier or did it just open up a new set of problems? If you stuck with it, did it get easier (if so, how?)

Operation Twin Skin Week 6

Sorry I skipped a week, we were en route to the funeral last Wednesday. So two weeks = another two pounds lost; ten to go until I'm back to my starting weight. I have a funny feeling that these last ten pounds are going to be the hardest and they'll be even harder to lose while I'm still nursing. Each pumping session I'm taking out about 12 ounces, which is nearly a pound of just breastmilk. Who knows how much my knockers weigh :smile: frightening.

Week 6 proves my stomach can be flat again, but WTH is going on with my belly button? Overall I'm happy with my progress, not bad for six weeks.

{ click to enlarge }

The Holy Father prays for Christchurch.


- During today's general audience, the Pope recalled:

"A new and powerful earthquake, even more devastating than the one last September, has struck the city of Christchurch, in New Zealand, causing considerable loss of life and the disappearance of many people, to say nothing of the damage to buildings.

"At this time, my thoughts turn especially to the people there who are being severely tested by this tragedy. Let us ask God to relieve their suffering and to support all who are involved in the rescue operations. I also ask you to join me in praying for all who have lost their lives".

things to like or not...

things i like today:

* Portland, Oregon
* especially Portland with Our #2 as my companion
* spending quality time with my lovely friend Lola in Portland
* benches in Portland

* finding a dottie angel cottage in Portland, perfectly perfect just as it is,
with lovely yellow paint trim.

* my hens eating their morning porridge to keep their little skinny chickie pea legs warm
* the moments of 'book inspiring' thoughts which seem to be coming thick and fast
* word of the week ~ PESKY
* cadbury's mini eggs are in the shops
* Used dog and her lumpy bumpy body
* my latest crocheting endeavours

things i do not like today:

* a snow day from school with no snow
* samuel whiskers making PESKY morning visits to the chicken coop
* book thoughts being interrupted by clan activity within the shed
and then said thoughts disappearing into the black hole within my little head
* broken buttons
* cadbury's mini eggs tempting me from the cupboard
* Used dog's lumpy bumps reminding me she is old
* the iffy-ness of my color choices for latest crocheting endeavours

she is declaring it a pyjama day for the shed ~ Tif

For Christchurch We Pray

God of nations! at Thy feet
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our Free Land.
Guard Pacific's triple star,
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand

Men of ev'ry creed and race
Gather here before Thy face
Asking Thee to bless this place
God defend our free land
From dissension, envy, hate
And corruption guard our State
Make our country good and great
God defend New Zealand

Peace, not war, shall be our boast
But should our foes assail our coast
Make us then a mighty host
God defend our free land
Lord of battles, in Thy might
Put our enemies to flight
Let our cause be just and right
God defend New Zealand

Let our love for Thee increase
May Thy blessings never cease
Give us plenty, give us peace
God defend our free land
From dishonour and from shame
Guard our country's spotless name
Crown her with immortal fame
God defend New Zealand

May our mountains ever be
Freedom's ramparts on the sea
Make us faithful unto Thee
God defend our free land
Guide her in the nations' van
Preaching love and truth to man
Working out Thy Glorious plan
God defend New Zealand

and the winners are...

before we get to the winners, you know me, i must just say several things...

firstly, you truly know how to lift spirits on a low day. just reading the comments made me smile and feel uplifted, and what really really made me smile is knowing we are all alike when it comes to the moments which make us happy. it is the simple things in life which lift us up. when it all gets a little too much, or perhaps life has dealt us some crappity crap cards, it is the little things which brighten our mood, so thank you for taking the time to share.

secondly, indeed my 'random button picker thingy' was as i suspected a little nutty, but i did go through with it, or should i say 356 buttons did. not just any old buttons (actually they are old) but brave heroic buttons who have seen many things in their lifetimes. once stitched to uniforms and now in a tin lurking in my studio waiting for this moment of utmost importance so they may show their bravery all over again. Carlos my trusty camera (i will have to shorten his name i think, or lengthen it to 'untrustworthy') did the best he could to capture the moment but unfortunately lost focus during the 'death defying' button moment as they hit the ground. he is down to just one working mode since last summer and sadly over the past few weeks it would appear 'auto' will not be with us much longer either. he did what he could and who am i to make a little camera feel any worse than he already does, knowing his days are numbered and the great Las Vegas in the sky for cameras is beckoning.

and thirdly, the brave buttons overcome with seeing some action out of their little tin, took a huge leap of faith on our behalf. many jumped for joy when they reached the cook pot, thus bonging right on out again. others i am saddened to say, did not fair so well (distressing to see i know) but a few made it into the pot and stayed put (thank goodness) waiting for me to count them and then Our #3 to double check the numbers...
and yes, i did hug each and everyone of them afterwards, even the wounded ones for it was quite the ordeal they went through.

and so for my 'hip hip hooray' give away the two winners are:

"if the weather is warm and sunny, i retreat to the porch for a bit of porch sitting where i can see cows and chickens and a donkey, and can be assured of the wet nose of the cutest corgi ever to come over and plant a kiss on my cheek or knee... it then becomes impossible to feel too low. if the weather is chilly, i find myself in my comfy chair by the fire, where again, i call on my little doggie to provide the needed snuggle..."


"a few things that can lift my spirits on a low day:
- receiving a package or unexpected letter in the mail
- snuggles from my puppy elsie
- a great, forgotten about song coming on the radio while driving and blasting it while singing all the words
- retail therapy, especially a good thrift find"

so hurrah hooray for Sharon and Heather and for everyone who so kindly entered my giveaway and cheered all our days with your wonderful 'pick me ups'... and indeed for forgiving my terribly thrilling but obviously quite pants way of picking a winner :)

she is thinking you can guess what she spent the rest of her day doing ~ Tif

Newborn Photos

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the twins' newborn photo shoot. These were taken when the babies were two weeks old.

Our photographer, Niki Rossi, did a fantastic job. She's great with portrait type photos which is exactly what I wanted. (She also shot our engagement, wedding and my maternity pictures.)

Visit the Christchurch Quake Map.

The graphic Christchurch Quake Map
allows you to choose the day and then
plot the earthquakes in magnitude and depth
about Christchurch.

There is a time clock to the right of the map
and a drop down menu to choose the day.

Yesterday's quakes
look like a city being bombed.
Between 12.34 p.m. and 11.05 p.m.
our friends suffered 48 different quakes.
Since then another 14 earthquakes
have struck
and more keep coming.

Please pray for those who are dead or dying,
hurt and traumatised.

To visit the Christchurch Quake Map
click on the screen shot
or this link.

The Catholic Cathedral, Christchurch, New Zealand.

We offer our deepest sympathy and prayers
to the Catholics of Christchurch Diocese.

The Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament
Christchurch, New Zealand, as it was
in its beauty and glory.

And as it stands now
after today's devastating earthquake.

Ne despicias, omnipotens Deus,
populum tuum in
afflictione clamantem:
sed propter gloriam nominis tui,
tribulatis succurre placatus.
Despise not thy people,
O almighty God,
when they cry out in their affliction,
but graciously succour them
in their tribulation,
for the glory of Thy Name.
Through our Lord
Jesus Christ Thy Son
who livest and reignest with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Ghost
for ever and ever. Amen.

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