Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Place in Popular Culture

I love women’s magazines.  I love the articles and the advice and the fashion (although I can never afford it).  Although recently, I’ve been very turned off by the vast amount of articles and information in these magazines that are blatantly go against everything I believe.  Recently in a women’s health magazine, there was a short article touting the merits of the revolutionary new “plan B” type pill that can “stop pregnancy” up to five days after sex.  I was appalled.  Is this what the readers of women’s magazines are looking forward to reading about?

Recently, I was excited to receive a magazine that I thought was for newlyweds, but it ended up just being for people who are “living together”, whether they be married or not.  There were tons of articles about sex toys, pornography, etc. and very little about decorating a home and maintaining a healthy relationship (unless the only key to a healthy relationship is a active sex life).

This is similar to how I felt about books and resources that were available while I was planning my wedding, and preparing for marriage and newlywed life.  Most of the books I encountered assumed that couples were already living together before marriage, that all couples were having sex before marriage even if they were living separately, that birth control was the only option for preventing pregnancy, and rarely discussed children other than how to prevent them with the various birth control options.  I could not relate to the women that these books were written by because I was not a woman that these books were for.

Am I the only one that would love to see more books and magazines that are guided by Catholic principles?  I would think that there is a market for it.  There are magazines for Catholic mothers and there are many books that discuss the Church’s teachings on marriage, family, etc.  But there is a need for book and magazines for the Catholic woman in general (single women and wives, not just mothers).

Friday, October 29, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (Take 1)

1. I have been wanting to write my own 7 Quick Takes Friday since I first read one at Abre Los Ojos.  I planned to write one last Friday, but was called into work to cover for a pregnant coworker (pregnant with twins!) who had to go on short-term disability unexpectantly early (she's only about five months).  I even wrote an entire post about how disappointed I was to have missed it last Saturday, only to have my post accidentally deleted by a tumblr problem.  I was so sad (and angry) to have lost my entire post, that I didn't have the energy or patience to write again until now.

2. My best friend didn't kill me when I told her David and I were planning to start a family sometime in the next year.  In fact, she was a little bit excited that she's going to be an "auntie"!  Let me tell you, this was quite a relief.  When we got married, David and I were told that we shouldn't have children for several years (at least until he is done with grad school).  We were told this by both our families (in fact, his parents weren't originally so keen on the idea of us getting married because they thought we were not stable enough for a family), our friends, people we barely new.  While many newly married couples seem to face the question, "When are you going to have children?", we never once were asked that question and instead were given unsolicited advice to wait.  Which was exactly what we wanted to do before we got married.  Now, the more we read about the Church's teaching on marriage, sex, natural family planning, etc., the more we are convinced that God is calling us to be parents (get this) EVEN THOUGH IT MAY NOT BE "PERFECT TIMING" (according to our society).  Well, if we are waiting for the perfect time, we may never be parents because it is always easy to find an excuse to wait.  So telling my best friend was nice (and relieving) and will prepare me for talking to my parents about it.  I shouldn't be so worried about what other people think, but I still don't want to disappoint my parents (I'm sure they'll get over it once they have a grandchild in their arms).

3. I don't know how to make friends.  Every friend I have, I made either in school (one of my dearest friends, I've gone to school with fourth grade through college) or helping at the youth group at my old church.  I am no longer in school.  My church doesn't seem to have many young people, much less young married couples. (The university has a Catholic Church right off campus, but my husband and I like the more traditional feel of the church we go to.  Unfortunately tradition = old people far too much.)  Some of my coworkers seem nice, but what I/we really need right now are some Catholic couples that can offer us support and understand where we are right now.  As far as I can tell, there are no groups for young Catholic couples in the area.  Any suggestions?

4. I've needed a lot of new clothes for a while now, and I finally went on a shopping Goodwill.  I don't know if this is because it is a college town, but they had an amazing amount of nearly brand new name brand clothing.  I've shopped at thrift stores in the past, but I've always had trouble finding nice things, and therefore kind of always looked down on it, but this has changed my mind.  We don't have a lot of money right now, especially if we are saving up to have a baby sometime in the near future, and this was such a nice break on our checking account.  I really needed winter clothes, and now I have plenty for what it would have cost for only a few items elsewhere.

5. I don't know if you could tell by my last one, but I love getting a deal.  I love finding bargains, using coupons, and saving money.  My mom is the same way, and I am very grateful that she taught me how to be responsible with money.  My brother grew up in the same house as me, but he spends money as soon as he has it.  Is that a male thing?  My dad is the same way.  They are both very hard workers, but they like to spend their hard-earned money.  My mom has to constantly trick my dad into thinking they have less money than they do, so that he doesn't spend the money she is trying to save.  You would think they would have come to an agreement after all these years (30 years this past August!), but alas, they have not.

6. I need to start hard-core Christmas shopping NOW.  Now that we're married, I have double the amount of presents to buy.  We are going home for an early "Christmas" with our families the second week in December, because I can't get time off from Starbucks closer to the holidays.  Which means I have to have all of our presents bought by then, to either take home or mail out early enough to family and friends elsewhere.  That gives me two weeks less to shop than most people.  Giving gifts is one of my favorite things in the world to do (I firmly believe that giving is much better than receiving).  I have a few already that I have found in the past month or so, but I'm really beginning to feel the heat to get the perfect presents in time.

7. David and I started wearing the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  It is so great, it really is.  More than anything, I love it because it reminds me when I put my clothes on in the morning that I am wearing a sign of devotion to Mary and our Lord, and that I should behave accordingly.  My mother-in-law brought them to us when they visited recently and for all my reservations about her, she is a good Catholic woman and I appreciate having her guidance in our lives.  I'm sure this will come up in later posts, but even though I was raised Catholic, my family is not very devoted or knowledgeable about the faith.

Oh, oh, oh!  This should have been one of my seven, I don't know how I forgot to mention it because it is one of the most exciting things in my life, but my 79-year-old Jewish grandfather just talked to a priest about becoming Catholic!

And please visit to read more 7 Quick Takes Fridays!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Tomorrow is payday.  I look forward to payday (as I think many people do) not because I am anxiously awaiting money so I can pay my bills but because I can see the fruit of my labor.  How much more exciting is heaven for those who have labored for their God here on earth! Shouldn’t we anticipate heaven with much more trepidation than we anticipate payday?  Shouldn’t we work much harder for the eternal reward than we do for our paychecks?  Am I the only one that sees disorder in how many people set their priorities?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Undercover Boss (Bryan Bedford)

It’s not often that you see reality television shows that feature devout Catholics.  It’s even more uncommon that they let these people showcase their faith.  Bryan Bedford, the CEO of Frontier Airlines, devout Catholic, and father of eight was featured on this week’s Undercover Boss.  My husband saw it the other night and told me that I just HAD to see this episode (we don’t watch much TV, so you know it had to be good!).  If you haven’t watched it, I encourage you to do so - it was really entertaining and inspiring.
What a role model of how to remain true to your faith in the business world!  I am going to write an email to CBS thanking the network for allowing Mr. Bedford to express his faith openly on the show.  My husband and I, who are pretty faithful to Southwest (to the point of putting all our purchases on a Southwest credit card in order to earn free tickets), are considering switching to Frontier because of this episode and the faith of the company’s CEO (which would also mean getting a new credit cards - in other words, not an easy task).  Even if it means paying a little bit more. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hello, my name is...

I’ve thought it over a bit and probably the best way to start this is by introducing myself.  Now how to do this without being formulaic and boring…

Here is how I envisioned my life at 23…
I always wanted to get married young, partially because my parents got married young (and yes, they are still married - 30 years!).  However, I think in part, I have always seen my “career” as wife and mother.  I used to imagine I would be married around 20 and have kids by 23, but that was when I was much younger and rather naive. When I was 20, I though marriage was years away and children even farther, but I never doubted I would get married.  I thought I would have a stable job as a high school history teacher.  I would be actively dating in hopes of finding a husband, and when I did so, I would settle down close to my parents, enjoy a few years as newlyweds, then have children.  We would be a very average middle class family.  The end.

This is how my real life compares (in case you didn’t get it, I am currently 23 years old)…
I have been married for three months to my husband, David.  We are living several states away from my family and friends while David finishes his Ph.D.  I graduated from college in May with two bachelors degrees and a teaching certification, however I augment my husband’s meager grad student stipend by supplying America’s coffee addiction at Starbucks.  The recession hasn’t been kind to education, so despite having two degrees, there wasn’t a job in sight.  Although I am sometimes angry that I am working a minimum wage job after graduating college, I am so grateful to have a job when there are many people unemployed.  While David and I constantly discussed waiting to have children until he finished school (approx. two more years), we find ourselves questioning our reasons for postponing pregnancy (more on this later, I’m sure — it has been a constant thought alternately in the back and front of my mind).  Life is different than expected.  I’m having a hard time adjusting to my new husband, my new state, city, and home, my new job, my new life.  But I feel blessed as well.

Why start this blog???
I tried to answer this questions in my last (ironically, my first—“and the last shall be first”) post.  While I have wonderful friends, I don’t have many friends that are faithful Catholics or many friends that are married.  Since I had trouble finding Catholic women in similar life situations as me, I thought that maybe other people might also, so I am using this as a way to connect with other Catholic women, simultaneously hoping that I can be a resource and support for other and that others will reach out to me as support and guidance.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Are there any Catholic women out there?

I’ve been married for less than three months.  Throughout dating, engagement, wedding planning, and the short time of my marriage, I noticed that I had a hard time finding books and other resources geared toward the Catholic woman.  My faith is the most important aspect of my life, as I believe it should be, and I find that my perspective of the world is different than most of American society and even than most of my friends.  If I had the ability, I would write a book for Catholic brides, publish a magazine for Catholic women, or something of the like, but for the time being, this blog will me my response to a need in our community.

I envision the blog turning something out like this…I write on it every once in a while (I’m not so great at keeping something like this up regularly, but perhaps this will be an exercise in discipline).  Those post will most likely be me trying to work out my own problems (and seeking advice).  More often, I will probably link this to resources and articles for Catholic women/brides/wives/mothers.  Maybe no one will follow this.  But maybe a few people will and it will be helpful for them.

I’m sure I’ll get to posting more about myself, my husband, and my new married life soon.  But I started this blog much on a whim, so my thoughts will need to marinate a little bit before I start writing.