I had a 2.5 hour drive home from Boone, NC this morning. It is such a beautiful drive. It was snowing in the mountains. The tops of the mountains were dusted with white and made me miss living in that area a bit. I enjoyed the drive. Driving in the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina seem to get the creative juices flowing for me. I have a lot of creative ideas while I pass through the valleys and admire the scenery. On my way home I was inspired to work on a talk for mothers and daughters, some more thoughts on miscarriage (with a few tears), and a few other ideas which unfortunately I may have left on the highway near Damascus. That is the problem with creativity while driving. I cannot write anything down, so I forget a lot of it once I stop.
Of course everyone knows about the huge news in the Catholic Church. I watched EWTN to see the doors closed at Castel Gandolfo to end the reign of now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. I was sad and I cried as I watched. A quiet end to a humble Pontificate. It is his humility that I will remember the most and his brilliance. I now turn with hope and apprehension as I wait for the start of the Conclave. I need to focus on prayer and fasting in the weeks to come.
I am learning that the terrible 2s happen well before the age of 2. My daughter is now 19 months old and is becoming increasingly more defiant, whiny, and difficult. She is not uncontrollable like some kids, but it brings new challenges. I did not know she was entering this phase this past Sunday when I attended Mass at a church I have never been to. I was there to visit our former priest on my way to NC. He had told me when I saw him before Mass that the church has great acoustics. I don't think he realized how those acoustics would be tested minutes later. My daughter decided to be difficult from the very beginning. I took her out into the narthex, which apparently is the old church. It is large with high ceilings. She screamed all of the way through Mass. Fr. Kevin said that he could hear her on the altar. He felt bad for me. I got a healthy dose of humility. I also learned that a trip one week after an emergency D & C is a stupid idea. I was so weak that I could barely battle her and felt like I was going to black out. That would have been even more embarassing! I missed most of Mass, but had a good visit with Father.
My husband and I will be looking at a house tomorrow that we are really interested in. We have been looking around the area for a couple of months and have had two failed offers. After we look at the inside, I will leave the negotiating to my husband. I am terrible at negotiation and would probably just say, "We'll take it!".
I am so glad that it is March. This winter has bordered on the bizarre. In one week we might have 70 degree temperatures, followed by snow, and then rain, and then wind. It is gray and bleak today, so I thought that I would share some pictures from the Keukenhof in the Netherlands. I went there back in March of 2005, strangely enough it was when Blessed John Paul II passed away and I turned 24 a day later. It is absolutely gorgeous. While I was not impressed with Amsterdam, it was dirty and in deep moral decay, I did enjoy the gardens of the Keukenhof which is in Lisse. I would also recommend a trip to Delft, which is known for its pottery. These pictures are not mine. They are from their homepage. Mine were lost somehow.
My birthday is at the beginning of April. I have been trying to think of a gift that I would like to receive from my husband. I think that I have figured it out. I don't buy many things and I don't think about buying things very much. Lately, however, I have been listening to a lot of music. Music was a big part of my upbringing. My dad listened to Mozart and my mother Richard Marx. I played the clarinet for 10 years, including a 4 year stint in the top symphonic band in the state of Montana. Thank you, Mr. Tangen! I also would sing a lot growing up. I chose band over choir and I am not of any particular extraordinary talent. I have enough talent to sing in the church choir and that is about it. If I had the time and was sure of my humility I would join the church choir. I do not want to be a part of the Liturgy until it is all about God and I struggle with pride a great deal. For some reason my love of music has fallen by the wayside in the last couple of years, as I focused on motherhood. I have decided to start growing a modest music collection for my enjoyment and to share with my daughter. This means that I want to get an iPod to store some music on and listen to in the car, on walks, and around the house. I am going to join the Apple revolution. I am looking at a 2nd generation iPod nano. We tend to buy used items and with a modest birthday budget my husband should be able to find one for $50 bucks.
Speaking of music, there is a particular song that has rekindled my love of music. I recently started watching the NBC show Smash. It is about an up-and-coming Broadway musical, well actually two. The show has mature themes i.e. alludes to sex (thankfully not graphic), drugs, adultery, and homosexuality (once again, thankfully, not graphic or I would not watch). It is about Broadway afterall. It is not for everyone and I would not even let my teenage kids watch it just because of some of the themes. I watch it for the music. Here is the song I am addicted to. It is called Broadway Here I come: