Odds and Ends, Doors and Windows

Whew! Sorry, ya’ll. I have been SO busy lately. I hope to post more regularly from now on, though. Since it feels like forever and a year since I have posted at all, I will catch you up on some things. The theme lately has been silver linings…

1: Praise God, through whom all blessings flow…albeit in His time, His will be done. My husband has been long-suffering in his career. The company for which we work has been going through a considerable re-organization that is quite complicated and too boring to talk about, but suffice to say it has been an adjustment. My husband was hired on before he finished his degree, and has since graduated more than a year ago. Normally, with his experience, work ethic, bilingual language skills, and now his credentials, he would be readily considered for a promotion…but such is not the case at this time. It is doubly hard on him because his department is actually understaffed and is basically forced to work overtime, so it is a little frustrating the company is not considering him or really anyone in his particular position for a promotion. Since we car-pool much of the time, I have been working overtime with him (in my own department), so while this has been good for our bank account, it has been bad for our home life and sanity.  I humbly ask that you keep my family in your prayers and that an opportunity arises soon that is good for his career advancement and for our work/life balance.

2:  Our parish has seen a whirlwind of change these past few months. First we got a new (awesome) priest, Father O’Brien. I have enjoyed each of our (many) priests we have had in the past two years, but it is nice to have some stability and the hope of growth in our parish. He has already instituted loads of changes, big and small, and all for the better, in my opinion. Saint Matthew parish feels more alive and dynamic already with new Bible study groups, new technology, new activities, more opportunities for fellowship, and a priest with a gentle demeanor but an obviously passionate heart for Jesus. It has been so exciting to grow more with this fantastic Christian community and find new ways for us to “go ye therefore” out into the world.

3: Speaking of which, our parish resurrected our old tradition of the International Food Festival to celebrate the feast day of our patron saint. I made bigos, aka hunter’s stew, which is a yummy Polish dish, and it was a hit. I was very flattered that two people asked me for my recipe, and happier that I didn’t have to carry anything home but a nearly empty pot.  Despite cooking for my own heritage, I actually dressed in a traditional costume of my husband’s. He punked out and conveniently didn’t find his own costume in time, but I got to wear a pretty dress and hold the Mexican flag in the procession of flags into the church.

Mary Anne (Colonial USA) and I (Mexico) at our parish International Food Festival in honor of our patron saint, Saint Matthew. Courtesy Saint Matthew Parish, Winter Haven, FL

Courtesy of Saint Matthew Parish, Winter Haven, FL

4: I had a recent procedure to get more insight into our infertility issues, so the De Lara family can hopefully welcome new little members someday.  It was super painful, but only for a few minutes, and the results were good…so maybe it truly is just a matter of time. Nothing has been found wrong with either of us, but despite nearly 4 years of trying for a baby, I continue the roller coaster of extreme hope to absolute dejection every month.  I have decided that maybe God just wants us to be in the very best position possible to welcome a baby, so he is waiting until just the right time to bless us. Maybe he wants him or her to be so perfectly beautiful and smart that he is taking extra time in making the mold or something. This is pretty much my greatest (and sometimes only) comfort when I cry on the bathroom floor every month or when I open facebook and see yet another pregnancy announcement or the birth of another baby to a family that has had two babies in the time we have tried for one.

5: My sweet baby seeester is getting married in one week! It has been a flurry of last minute preparations for her destination wedding in the hills of North Carolina (the autumn leaves are going to be swoon-worthy to this Florida girl). Today was her bridal shower and I just was so overcome with how much this girl has grown into a woman I truly admire. She was a little bit of a wild child and somewhat unpredictable in her youth, but experience, education, and the love of a good man have helped her best self shine through. She is so loyal, gentle, caring, generous, and more precious than rubies. He is a pretty great guy, too, and such a welcome addition to the family. He came over to my parents’ today after her shower was over and she made a plate of leftovers for him and showed him the pretty gifts. He was the cutest when he put their new oven mitts on each hand and played with their other gifts when he thought the rest of us weren’t watching. My mom and dad are patting themselves on the back that they married off all three of their college-educated girls just as each reached 30 and their rambling, big, empty house goes up for sale in a few weeks and they are starting their next chapter of tooling around in a trailer.

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