If you’re wondering, faithful reader, why I fell off the face of the blogosphere for several weeks, I will tell you: Karl and I are having a baby!! I’m eleven weeks pregnant and just haven’t had the energy to even think about blogging. Ok, that’s not entirely true. There have been many times when I’ve thought “Oh, that would make a great blog post!” or “I’d love to blog about that!”, but that’s about as far as it goes. Usually one of two things (or both) will happen: either I don’t have the energy to create a coherent sentence or I get distracted by never-ending waves of nausea.
Reader, you may be experiencing a reaction similar to the most common reaction we’ve had to our news: WOW! That was fast! Yes it was, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! We knew we wanted our marriage to be blessed with children and were hoping we wouldn’t have to wait long. Karl’s excitement is much more apparent than mine, as mine is masked by fatigue and morning sickness that lasts ALL.DAY.LONG. But we are both over the moon about our little miracle of life – the first of many, we pray.
So far, the pregnancy has been rough. I was honestly not expecting that. My mom wasn’t this sick during her pregnancies. Tired – yes, and a little sick – but not this much. I figured I’d follow in her footsteps, but alas… I didn’t. That’s ok. I am just grateful that the nausea is not accompanied by vomiting*. I keep reminding myself and Karl that feeling sick is strangely comforting, because it means our little muffin-in-the-oven is growing. And I know this too shall pass. The first trimester will soon be behind us, and I pray that with it will go the fatigue and nausea. It’s not a guarantee – I realize that – but here’s hoping it will soon pass so I can have the energy to actually show my excitement (and return to blogging and to dancing)!
*I’ve tried a lot of the remedies recommended for nausea, but none of the typical ones work for me. I’ve learned to live with it.
End Note: I can’t believe I wrote a whole blog post! With more words than pictures! What a day! Usually I go to work, come home, and sleep on the couch until Karl makes me eat something and/or makes me go to bed. This blog post makes me feel incredibly accomplished. I also managed to do the dishes and sweep today! Whoa! I think I’ve met my quota for the week. Nothing but eat, sleep, and relaxing for me for the rest of the week!
Karl and I made our way through numerous galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last Monday afternoon. Spending our extra day off at the museum was an easy decision; we both appreciate art and beauty. It has been on our list of things to do for a while now, but it was difficult to find time with all the life changes going on. So we took advantage of our both being off work on Columbus Day and immersed ourselves in an artistic adventure! We were especially excited about our trip to the museum after hearing David Clayton speak at St. Paul Inside the Walls earlier that weekend about religious paintings and their role in culture and in the Church.
Our exploration didn’t take us much farther than the galleries filled with religious icons and paintings, though we did take a brief tour of the musical instruments so Karl could admire the centuries old violins. The time flew by and we didn’t even see everything in that section of the museum! Thankfully, Karl enjoys museums as much as I do so we’ll eventually make our way through the vast collections of the Met. Eventually…
It has been a while since I last updated readers on Rosario’s post-miracle journey. She has been doing well – better than well – since the last post over a year ago. Rosario moved back to the Los Angeles area last October, after just over three years of recovery at the family home in Michigan. She had gone to LA several times for the trial and sentencing. She always knew she would live there again; she wasn’t going to let the shooting scare her away. Around the time she moved, Rosario began speaking more frequently about her journey of healing and forgiveness. From her website: Rosario is sharing her miraculous story and speaking about her journey of healing through the sacraments, finding her worth and dignity as a daughter of God, the power of prayer and the freedom of Forgiveness.
I thought moving back to LA was brave of my sister, as was/is continually confronting the events and aftermath of that fateful night by speaking about her experience and healing. I also thought it was brave of Rosario to volunteer for the Burrito Project which took her to downtown Los Angeles (at night) to deliver food to the homeless. But I was floored last month when she asked for prayers as she was about to speak to gang members. Yup, that’s right. A woman who had been shot because of a gang initiation bravely stood up in front of hardened gang criminals and shared about how their lifestyle affected and nearly took her life.
Here is what Rosario said in a follow-up email to those she asked to pray:
The ‘Call In’ for Operation Cease Fire with the LAPD in Mission Hills was a powerful experience. Knowing that I was about to speak to hard core, gang criminals and that they were all repeat offenders was intimidating and a little scary but knowing that you were praying for me gave me a lot of peace and confidence.It was held at a Catholic mortuary which is neutral ground since the gangsters are all from different gangs. It’s also where many of their friends and relatives have already been buried.Six different members of the law enforcement spoke first for three minutes each. Then five people spoke as ‘Community Voices’ for five minutes each. I was the fourth person to speak as the ‘Voice of pain’.I shared with them the pain of my lungs collapsing and my esophagus tearing. I described the painful procedures the doctors performed on me to save my life in the ER as well as the eight hour surgery. Most of the men and (two) women had tears in their eyes as I spoke about my injuries. I then shared with them the words I spoke to the young women who shot me when giving my ‘Victim’s Impact Statement’ to the judge. I told them how I told her that I forgive her and pray for her everyday that she may come to know the incredible Love, Mercy and Forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ. I told them that I encouraged her to take responsibility for her actions and start making good decisions for her life. I encouraged them to do the same and that I believe that they CAN make better decisions. I closed telling them that God loves them and there are people in this world who love and care about them as well and that Love, Mercy and Forgiveness is there waiting for them.As I finished several of these tough men wiped tears from their eyes. I have to admit I was surprised to see such hard core criminals listen so intently and have such an emotional reaction to the words I spoke especially since most of them for everyone’s else’s presentations stared straight ahead, looking very angry that they had to be there. But then I reminded myself that you were praying and that clearly God’s love can move the most hardened heart.I ask that you join me in continuing to pray for April, the young woman who shot me and these gangsters who were there that night.Words cannot express just how grateful I am for your prayers. There definitely was a grace there that evening!
Karl won a free honeymoon cruise last February, but we didn’t want to go right after the wedding (I’m a little iffy on the cruise thing as it is… I wasn’t about to do during hurricane season!). We decided to postpone the cruise for a few months and take a low-key mini-moon to recuperate after the Big Day. Our destination was a lovely bed & breakfast in Rhode Island, where we enjoyed our first days of married life.
Our mini-moon adventures took us all around the Ocean state, well the southeastern portion at least. The B&B, Edgewood Manor, is just south of Providence. We found our way down to Jamestown and Beaver Tail Light House, wandered through a mansion in Newport, sampled delicious wine at a vineyard in Little Compton (during a torrential downpour), and took a boat tour which featured ten lighthouses in Narragansett Bay (NOT during a torrential downpour!) (Fun fact: The tour guide on the boat tour asked if anyone knew which lower 48 state has the most lighthouses. I knew the answer of course: Michigan!).
We did our best to relax. We had no schedule, no set plans, no desire to make the most use of our time other than to be. We needed the recovery time after such an intensely beautiful wedding. It was a perfect mini-moon!
Prayer from Day 9 of Novena to St. Therese:
from my wedding bouquet: a yellow rose
Karl and I had little celebrations all weekend in anticipation of his birthday today. We had plans for a special birthday dinner tonight, but those plans have been put on hold because today my handsome husband-of-just-over-two-weeks leaves on a business trip to the Philippines… for two weeks. We knew he would have to go eventually. Still, this was a bit of a surprise. Karl’s boss really didn’t want to take Karl away so soon and he did what he could to delay the necessity of Karl’s presence in the Philippines until January, but there was no getting around it. My talented, hard-working, intelligent husband is indispensable to their operations.
It was not easy saying good-bye this morning. It would have been a difficult good-bye even if it had not been Karl’s birthday. (For crying out loud, he’s going to be gone for almost as long as we’ve been married! I know two weeks is nothing in comparison to our entire married lives… but it has only been two weeks. We’ve barely started settling into a routine.) But there were surprisingly less tears than I anticipated, which I attribute to sacramental grace. I’ll probably cry more tonight when I come home to an empty house, but at least I sent Karl, who isn’t looking forward to being apart of two weeks either, off without sobbing.
Karl as usual has managed to hold onto the one good thing about this trip: birthday celebrations spanning three weeks! We celebrated throughout the weekend, and we will celebrate again upon his return. I don’t mind celebrating that long; there is a lot to celebrate when it comes to Karl. He really is the most amazing man I’ve ever met, and he’s turning out to be an ever better husband that I could have hoped for!
Karl, here’s to two more weeks of celebrating your life! And here’s to a lifetime together!
I love you, husband!
Also, Happy 30th Anniversary to Mom & Dad Schlegel!
Our wedding day was glorious and beautiful, more glorious and more beautiful than I could have ever hoped for! Almost two weeks later, Karl and I are still in awe of how incredible it was and how much our family and friends gave of themselves to make it so. We did our best to plan for a day filled with sacramental and artistic beauty, but nothing could prepare us for the beauty that transpired through the music at mass, the decorations at the reception, the musical and dance performances, and even behind-the-scenes details… Nothing could prepare us for the generous outpouring of love that made every carefully planned aspect of the wedding radiant. It was overwhelming and incredibly humbling that our friends devoted so much of their time and effort to our special day and that they gave so generously of themselves through their various talents.
For two artistic souls and lovers of beauty, it was an incredible gift. We wanted our matrimonial celebration to be a day of beauty, and it was. It was because of the amazing love of our family and friends. Obviously the day was filled with the love that Karl and I have for each other and the Love that God has for us, but we expected that. We didn’t expect to be overwhelmed with the immense love of our guests. (I’m getting all choked up just thinking about it!)
Check out all this love while I try to compose myself…
Oh speaking of love, one of our friends graciously helped us record the nuptial mass for those of our family members who were unable to attend. This means that you too, Reader, can experience the love so generously given from the clergy, choir and musicians.
Note: the video is of the whole mass, which was a good hour and a half. Feel free to hop, skip, or jump to the highlights. 12:45 for the procession (Yes, that is Karl singing at the beginning of the procession!) and 48:10 for the vows. But there is a riveting homily that starts on 28:40, and a glorious Marian hymn at 1:34:00, oh and don’t miss the lovely offertory hymn at 58:05 or Pie Jesu somewhere around 1:30:00! Ok, there are a lot of highlights. So turn up the volume (it’s a little difficult to hear), and enjoy what you will!
Photo Credit: Mike Fitzpatrick via Facebook
Video Credit: The Amazing Pete! via YouTube