Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Baby on a Budget Guest Post: Hand-Me-Downs

When I was pregnant with Lucia, I was fortunate to be gifted a hand-me-down swing and bouncer from a friend with two young children.  These were two big ticket items and I felt very fortunate to receive them.  Even better, they were in great shape!  It wasn't until then that I realized how quickly babies grow out of their baby gear (not to mention baby clothes) - so quickly that they don't have time to wear them out.  If you are wanting to save money on your little one, hand-me-downs are one of the best ways to do so.  Below, Karen writes some really great advice about learning the value of hand-me-downs (and shows off some adorable pictures of her youngest, Katie, in hand-me-downs).


Eleven years ago I was pregnant with my first child.  Taken in by the aura of new baby products, I simply had to have everything new for our new baby.  I had been offered hand-me-downs of almost all the essential baby gear [bassinet, crib, swing, baby bedding, infant car seat, electric breast pump] by my cousin, but I was stubborn and wanted new items.  It didn't help that my mom and several other relatives also weighed in that I should have new baby items for my first baby.  I won't say that I wasn't happy to have all new baby gear and clothing for our first child, but financially it was a big mistake.  After buying a new home and feathering our nest with all new baby gear (Most baby items were gifted to us, but we purchased a lot of things, too.) we were in a bad situation money wise.  If I could go back eleven years in time and talk to my past self, I would assure her that saying yes to hand-me-downs, even ones you don't want or think you will need, is a good thing.

 Katie in hand-me-downs
Very shortly after becoming a new mother I discovered that hand-me-downs were actually not all that bad.  My best friend brought some of her daughters' baby clothes to me without asking if I wanted to borrow them when Madeline, my oldest, was just a few weeks old.  I really didn't want to use hand-me-downs for my baby, but we didn't have a lot of money to spare for baby clothes and my friend had blessed us with several very large trash bags full of barely worn clothing from her two older girls.  For Madeline's first year we had loads of hand-me-down clothes that were adorable.  If I had been more practical, I would have only used hand-me-down clothes and those items that were gifted to us and left it at that.

With our second daughter I really began to see how silly it was of me to not accept hand-me-downs of toys and baby gear that only gets used for a short period of time.  With the exception of some clothing, everything we used for our daughter Ellie was a hand-me-down.  After all, when you use something new for your first child those same items essentially become hand-me-downs for all the rest.  It was with Ellie that I fully came to embrace and appreciate the value of hand-me-downs.

sitting in a hand-me-down high chair wearing hand-me-downs
After Ellie was born we didn't think we'd be adding any more children to our family.  We decided after much thought that we would give away all of our baby stuff.  If down the line we found ourselves expecting again we figured we would just buy the things we needed.

Remembering how difficult it was to buy everything new when we were starting out with our first child, I began to give friends and acquaintances who were expecting our baby items.  I didn't want to part with most of it, so I felt tremendously better about giving it to people I knew who could use it than I did about selling it in a yard sale to strangers.  I couldn't bear the thought of selling it and so we chose to bless people with what we had to offer.   I found peace in knowing that I was helping others get ready for their babies.  What I didn't expect was the outpouring of gratitude that we received after giving people hand-me-downs.  I had not only gained space in my home, but I had made several families very happy.  The absolute bonus for me was seeing the babies use our daughters' old things.  So much better than storing items in an attic or selling it to a stranger.

wearing hand-me-downs
Fast forward several years to when a still, small, voice nudged me and made me realize our family wasn't complete.  Remembering that I gave almost everything baby related away, I agonized over whether expanding our family was practical.  Buying all new items seemed crazy.  "What if our next baby is the last?"  I wondered.  My husband once again reiterated that buying all new items wasn't a problem, but the nagging cheapskate in me dug in her heels and said no.  I had a list of must have items which I broke into items I could buy second hand and items which needed to be new (such as car seats and the crib mattress).  I was going to approach having a baby like we couldn't afford to have one even if that wasn't really the case.

Once we had finally conceived our third child, I spent the first trimester bargain hunting and doing price comparisons.  We hadn't told anyone about our baby on the way.  I had a friend who we had given some baby items to several years back that I told the summer before we conceived that we were looking to grow our family.  Since they weren't planning to have any more children, I was bold and asked if she would keep me in mind for hand-me-downs.  After we announced that I was pregnant, I was overwhelmed that several families had hand-me-downs for us.  Two families that we know had little girls born in the fall the year before our youngest was due.  They showered us with not only loads of adorable baby outfits, but also baby gear like high chairs, and bouncy seats.  There is even someone who I have never met that has been giving my best friend, our baby's godmother, her little girl's outgrown clothes.

closet full of almost all hand-me-downs
Katie, our youngest, is outfitted almost entirely in hand-me-down clothing.  We've been so blessed by the generous outpouring of hand-me-downs that I frequently cannot justify keeping the brand new clothes that I buy for her.  I joke to my husband all of the time that all I have to do is buy a few adorable new outfits for the baby and within a day or two several bags or boxes of hand-me-downs will materialize containing outfits very similar to the ones I just purchased. From where I stand, the only downside to accepting hand-me-downs is it virtually eliminates the need, but not the desire, to shop for adorable baby clothes and that's really not much of a downside at all.

My former self would bristle at the thought of accepting all these second hand items.  She would point out the dings and scratches on some of the baby gear, or the tell tale signs that the clothes have been used.  I would tell her that those things give the items character.  The clothes will only be worn for a few months, and while baby clothes may pill will use, but they really don't wear out.  And while receiving these items is certainly a blessing, I know that our accepting and using these previously loved items is also a blessing to those who have given them.

For me, I think the greatest thing about hand-me-downs is how they have come full circle for us.  Many of the items we gave to friends have found their way back to us.  Favorite outfits have been returned to us along with many more that are new to us. Big pieces of baby gear have been sent back to us no worse for wear along with some updated pieces.  Whether you're the recipient or the giver, when it comes to hand-me-downs it's an all around blessing.

Karen is a Catholic stay at home mom to three little girls who make every day an adventure.  When she finds a spare moment amid the craziness she writes about their adventures on her blog Karen in Mommyland.

Please check out the other posts (including other great guest posts) in my Baby on a Budget series. If you liked this post, you may want to read about Encore Baby Registry, an online registry that allows you to register for new and hand-me-down items! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Broken: "Lucky for me, it was easy to get out of it. It wasn’t so easy to pretend it never happened."

The response for Broken has been overwhelming!  After publishing the introduction on Thursday, I have already been contacted by many women eager to tell their stories in order to help others.  If you are interested in submitting a piece on damaging relationships or want to read more about the series, see the Broken tab at the top of the blog.  

This first piece is from a young women who wanted to remain anonymous.  Nonetheless, I know the courage it took to write this and am so grateful you are speaking out about your experiences.  Thank you.


I started off being in a happy relationship with a guy that I met at a high school dance. I thought we were perfect together. I was convinced this was the guy I was going to marry. The only problem was my parents did not like him one bit. I never understood why. They said how wrong he was for me, but I looked past their judgments and remained in a mostly happy relationship.

This was until college, where we went to our separate schools. This was when the fighting started. We were fighting every single day over seemingly meaningless things. We would break up for a day right before my finals and I would do terribly. I would hang out with my guy friends, he would get extremely angry. I would go to a party to hang out with friends, he would ignore my texts and not talk to me. He threatened to break up with me if I even had a sip of alcohol. I was threatened to get broken up with on a daily basis. But I succumbed to his requests. I didn’t want to be alone, I was still sure of our future together.

Throughout our relationship, I became depressed, right around senior year-freshman year of college. This only made our relationship worse because he had struggled with it in the past and had no idea how to help me. I physically hurt myself through this. He couldn’t handle it. I was needy. I needed to see him every single weekend or I would go crazy. I was literally acting crazy with all the fighting. The problem was, when he was there with me, he distanced me from my friends. I wanted to hang out with my friends WITH him, but he just wanted me alone. Some of my closest friends were angry with me and stopped talking to me because they couldn’t handle all of my drama with him. He threatened to kill himself if we ever broke up for good. I was stuck in a completely unhappy relationship with that additional weight on my shoulders. I didn’t know what to do or how to make this better. I wanted so much for us to work out, but I was upset on a daily basis with how our relationship was going. By this point, the people I thought were my friends stopped talking to me because they were sick of hearing about our fights. I was completely alone in this. My parents could not even be supportive since they were the ones that wanted us to break up all along.

We finally broke up the beginning of my sophomore year. I was pretty much a mess. I decided to ditch my true friends and start hanging out with a different group, which led me to going to parties more, and eventually drinking more. I was going out 3-4 times a week. My grades were suffering and my extracurriculars became a chore. I turned into a person that I didn’t like. I started dating my then-boss (about 2 weeks after my ex and I broke up), only to realize that he wanted me for my body and nothing else. I let this go on for 2 months, which took a large emotional toll on my self-esteem and self-worth. I was so excited that someone wanted me and someone liked me that I compromised my beliefs for someone that I barely even knew. Only to find out he was heavily involved in drugs and was borderline alcoholic. I was so broken by this point that I did not care what was happening to me or who I was with.

I think the worst part of my rebound relationship was that my parents somehow found out about it and tried to stop it. They took away my car and phone hoping that I wouldn’t find a way to see him or contact him. Being the person I was, I found ways around this and still (unfortunately) saw him. Now looking back on this experience, I wish I would have listened to them and listened to my friends. My new “friends” encouraged this relationship and thought it was good for me since he “cared” about me so much. Boy, were they wrong.

Once some of my true friends started realizing something was wrong, I started really understanding what I was doing to myself and my self-worth. I started realizing what damage I had done and promptly got myself out of that situation. Lucky for me, it was easy to get out of it. It wasn’t so easy to pretend it never happened.

Looking back on all of this, I feel guilty more than anything. How could I let something so bad go on for so long? What was I thinking? It is unfortunate that I went from one bad relationship to another in such a short amount of time. My inner instincts should have told me that dating someone right after getting out of a long relationship was a bad idea, but that was not the case.  I still feel guilty honestly. The person that is writing this is pretty much appalled at the person that is being described here. I keep trying to tell myself that all of these experiences have made me who I am today. I wish that I wouldn’t have made these decisions or had to experience this. I feel guilty that I had a past while the person I’m with now doesn’t. I feel guilty going into my marriage with all these bad feelings and guilt about things that I can no longer change.

As hard as this may be, I’m still moving forward knowing that I changed my life and I am now a better person. I have a new relationship with God and a much stronger faith. These experiences made me appreciate so much more the relationship I have now and how blessed and lucky I am. Sure, there are days that I still feel terribly guilty, but that is where love and forgiveness come in. And I could not be more grateful for that.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

AR 15 Shirt Review

I had the chance to review a gun shirt last week and I already have the opportunity to review more equally awesome gun t-shirts AR-15 has a variety of shirts with fun designs and witty saying that feature none other than the AR-15 gun.  These shirts are a trendy way to make a public statement about your support of the Second Amendment and your love of recreational gun use.

I love wearing this gun shirt in public, not for the shock factor, but hopefully to have a hand in the normalization of gun ownership.  I grew up in a hunting family that also loved target shooting for fun.  I was shocked when I realized in high school that the majority of my friends had never shot a gun and many of them were raised in families that frowned upon gun ownership.  To be honest, I still am a little amazed to hear of people that have never held a gun.  My husband and I look like the average responsible citizens toting around an adorable baby girl.  We in no means look like extreme gun fanatics (and we aren’t), yet we are gun owners who own guns for protection and for fun.  By wearing this shirt, I feel like I’m an example of the average gun owner and will helpfully be able to help break the stereotypes that many people have of gun owners.  

All designs at AR-15 come in a variety of colors and styles, including particularly feminine ones like pink and baby doll tees.  Having spent many years going to sporting goods stores with my dad, I find it unusual and refreshing to be able to buy feminine gun shirts!  I recommend these for the female gun aficionado you know.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, May 25, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (Take 59)

--- 1 ---

I have started a new blog series, Broken: rising above damaging relationshipsIt's come to my attention recently that (unfortunately) my past abusive, self-esteem crushing relationship is not unique, but that discussing it with other women with similar experiences has been healing for me and perhaps could prevent other young women from getting into those situations in the future.  If you think you would like to contribute (you can do so anonymously if you wish), please read the post for details.  And of course, pass on information on the series to any women you think may benefit from it.

--- 2 ---
I wrote a guest post earlier this week over at Truly Rich Mom.  It's part of her "Amazing Grace for Moms" series and is on motherhood and patience, obedience, and dependence.  I think this series is wonderful, who doesn't need a reminder of God's grace in our daily lives?

--- 3 ---

I took blogging easy this week because I was engrossed in The Hunger GamesI seriously loved them!  I think there is going to be an upcoming post about The Hunger Games vs. Twilight, especially regarding how love is portrayed.  Now that I'm done, I've been looking for my next great fiction book (I'm always in the middle of a non-fiction book or two, can't ever just read one book at a time!), and I've gotten a few suggestions for The Ender's Game so that's what I'll probably go with.  I am curious for some other suggestions though (and I really do like almost all genres) since I get most of my books through Paperback Swap and I need to put them on my wish list long before I plan to actually read them.  So, what is the last book you couldn't put down?

--- 4 ---

As swimsuit season begins, I found 8 Things You Need to Know Before You Buy A Swimsuit Online very helpful.  I'm not a big fan of bikinis and post-baby, I have to say that I can't wear a bikini again anyway, but it's so difficult to find nice one-pieces (or tankinis) in-store.  I especially love the specific store recommendations based on customer-friendly return policies!  While we are talking about swimsuits, here's a great piece on addressing whether bikinis are appropriate for little girls.

--- 5 ---

Right after reading these two pieces on swimsuits, I noticed there is currently 30% off and free shipping at Lands' End If you already read the online swimsuit shopping guide above, you'd know that's one of the stores recommended because of their great sizing guide and return policy.  And that's not the first time I heard of them, I heard of them previously as the place to go for modest swimsuits for women and little girls; they truly have a ton of options!  They can be pricey, but at 30% off, I would say their prices are very comparable.  I'm not really in the place to buy anything until David gets a job, so I'm just going to keep wearing the maternity suit I bought last year (I promise, it doesn't look like a maternity suit without a belly to stretch it out!), but if you are looking for a swimsuit, take a look.  Oh, and if you buy through Ebates (it's a online shopping cash back program - if you don't have it already and shop online even occasionally, you have to get it!), you get an 6% cash back for Memorial Day weekend (usually it's only 3% cash back from Lands' End).

--- 6 ---

I thought that taking a more natural approach to obstetric and gynecological care by using a midwife and birth center meant that I would have support using NFP.  No such luck.  The midwives asked me several times during and after pregnancy about which birth control I planned to use and warned me that NFP is not reliable in the postpartum period.  So I was really excited to see this piece on How to find an NFP friendly doctor.  I think I'll wait until we find out where we'll be be for good before I change doctors, but I can't wait to have a doctor that is supportive of my family planning decisions.

--- 7 ---

I've had blissfully trouble-free breastfeeding since Lucia was born.  I was prepared with breastfeeding books, the number to La Leche League and a local breastfeeding support group, and made sure that the pediatrician we picked had several lactation consultants on staff.  Thankfully I didn't need those resources, but I am so grateful that they were there had I needed them and that they are able to help other women get through their breastfeeding difficulties.  My friend Kendra recently wrote a blog post about her breastfeeding struggles and I think she was brave to do so!  I hope her story might help other breastfeeding moms out there know that they are not along in experiencing problems and that with determination, you can work through them!  I know that breastfeeding is different with each child, so I hope to be able to turn to Kendra for support if I have any troubles with subsequent babies.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Broken: rising above damaging relationships

When I was 18, I started dating a young man who would become my first boyfriend.  When it began, it was a fairly typical young adult relationship, but by the time I finally had the courage to walk away over two years later, it had became abusive and manipulative.  The physical abuse was minimal, but the emotional abuse left deep scars.  Both during and after the relationship, I searched for other women who had been in similar situations, for both comfort and advice, yet I found no one to turn to.  

I have since discovered that many of my friends faced similar damaging relationship, some that had cross the line into physical abuse and others that were marred by jealousy and possessiveness, yet all left them with low self-esteem and feelings of emptiness, guilt, and shame.  We all kept our experiences secret, but had we shared, there is a possibility that we could have prevented each other from getting so deep into the relationships, from staying so long in them.  We could have helped one another see that as beautiful daughters of Christ, we were worth so much more.  

Just last night, I was discussing my past relationships with a friend who had similar experiences.  Although it has been years since I left that relationship and I have since married my husband, who treats me with respect and love that only comes from the Lord, there are still lasting scars.  But I realized talking about them helped, having someone else share her experiences made me feel a little less alone, a little less shameful, a little more hopeful.  With that in mind, I decided to start a series of posts for women who have had current and past damaging relationship (and hopefully by doing so may help prevent women from having future ones).  

If you have a story to share, I welcome you to do so.  I would be happy to change your name or make it anonymous, if you like.  It doesn't have to be a personal narrative, it can be advice to women about avoiding these relationships, getting out of them, or for friend/family of women who are in such circumstances.  You can write about the healing process or about how you found yourself in that situation.  In essence, you can write anything you think might help someone in a damaging relationship.  Please send submissions or questions to

My Baby Compass Review

New motherhood is a confusing time.  In addition to trying to negotiate my new role as a mother and redefine my relationship with my husband, I also had the practical concerns of caring for my daughter and making sure she is developing on schedule.  I entered this time with three huge books for baby’s first year, but unlike my pregnancy when I had ample time to read about pregnancy and fetal development, I couldn’t seem to find the time to read them and make sure that my daughter was meeting the appropriate milestones.  When I was given the opportunity to review My Baby Compass (Birth to Two Years), Lucia was already five months and I wish I had access to this resource since birth. 

My Baby Compass is “an easy program to help your child think, speak, move & thrive”.  I would equate it to a streamlined book on baby development, with milestone checklists, brief advice for seeking help if baby is not meeting milestones,  and short sections with ideas for age-appropriate toys and activities, and songs and rhymes that help with development.  The appendices are also helpful and include resources such as common signs to use with your baby and information on various tests and screenings that your child might have during regular doctor visits or if there are suspected development problems.  The best feature of this guide is the small pullout pamphlets of checklists and activities.  Each one covers a few month time frame and has broken down into sections “Baby Talks”, “Baby Hears”, “Baby Understands”, “Baby Moves”,  and “Baby Feels”.  The left side of the page lists milestones the baby should have completed while the right side lists specific activities that will help the child develop in this area.  It is so well organized and easy to follow, perfect for the average parent with little background in child development.

the pullout checklist and activities
My Baby Compass is by no means a comprehensive baby guide as it addresses only milestones and development, but this specificity is its strength.  I still need one (although probably not three!) of those hefty “first year” baby books on hand to reference other issues such as teething or difficulty sleeping.  When it comes to development, however, I’m much more likely to monitor Lucia’s development with the My Baby Compass streamlined checklists than to wade through the large monthly chapters dedicated to development and everything else baby in those larger books.  That means that I’ll also be more likely to discover development delays as they occur. 

My Baby Compass is written by Kathryn Thorson Gruhn, a speech and language pathologist with 35 years of child development experience.  It is also endorsed by several pediatricians and various child development specialists which makes me very comfortable that the information is credible and thorough.  The completed series will include four books: Birth to Two, Two to Four, Four to Six, and Six to Eight.  They can be purchased on for approximately $40.  Initially, I was uncertain if they were worth this price, however, since they cover several years, the price is similar to the average cost of buying two single-year development books.

I received a copy of  My Baby Compass to facilitate this review.  All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hungry Hippo Creations Review

Hungry Hippo Creations is an Etsy shop filled with unique vintage-inspired baby and children's clothing.  I have high expectations of anything that comes from Etsy, the WAHMs that sell their products there put so much love and attention into their products, and Kellie's work at Hungry Hippo Creations certainly lives up to my expectations.  For the price of an outfit at a big box store (the most pricey items are only $28), you get boutique-worthy clothing with the quality of homemade!  I was given the privilege of receiving two pinafore and bloomer sets  for Lucia to review from Hungry Hippo Creations and I couldn't be happier with the products I received.

The outfits are absolutely adorable!  To me, these are only comparable to items that can be bought in a boutique; they have a classic, vintage quality to them.  Most of the outfits I've received for Lucia are trendy and will go out of style before our next little one comes along, but I can envision the two sets being in the family for years, perhaps someday worn by my granddaughters.  The quality is such that I can imagine them being around that long as well.  In fact, one of my favorite features is that the material is not only adorable, but durable as well.  Unlike the flimsy material and questionable quality of some of the cheaper items in Lucia's wardrobe, these pinafores are made of exactly the kind of material I would envision little kids play clothes to be made of - something that is comfortable and that will last.

In additional to high quality and classic style, all the pieces from Hungry Hippo Creations are also very affordable.  As mentioned above, the most expensive dresses are only $28.  And this is the price for a customized item - Kellie has many different materials you can choose from for your items and will work with you to make something that fits your (little one's) style.  I'm not very good with design, so I picked a pattern that I liked and Kellie was able to help suggest other fabric patterns to accompany it.  I particularly loved the pinafore because it is fully reversible with adorable complementary patterns on each side, so each one was like having two different outfits.  Lucia will also be able to wear it for many months to come.  For the warm weather and just hanging out around the house, I didn't put anything under it, but I can add a long sleeved onesie under it for the winter and once she's taller, I can pair it with jeans or leggings instead of bloomers. 

If you are looking for a really sweet outfit for a special occasion, as a gift, or just some adorable play clothes, I can't see how you could go wrong with Hungry Hippo Creations.  Please check out Hungry Hippo Creations Facebook page and click on the photo albums to see what other sweet outfits and fabrics Kellie has to offer.  And don't make the mistake of thinking that Hungry Hippo Creations is only for little girls; Kellie has some really adorable neckties and outfits for your little man as well!

Hungry Hippo Creations is giving away a $30 credit to one Catholic Newlywed reader as a part of the Shake, Rattle, & Roll! Giveaway Hop. The contest runs May 22-June 5.  You can enter it here.  Good luck!

I was sent a two pinafore and bloomers sets in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy

Shake, Rattle, & Roll! Giveaway Hop

Lucia in Hungry Hippo Creations
Catholic Newlywed is taking part in the Shake, Rattle, & Roll! Giveaway Hop by giving away a $30 credit to the Hungry Hippo Creations Etsy shop.  Hungry Hippo Creations has homemade, vintage style clothing.  The most expensive Hungry Hippo Creations product is $28, which essentially means you can choose whatever item(s) you want!  To read a review of Hungry Hippo Creations, click here.  Enter below on the Rafflecopter. 

The Shake, Rattle, & Roll Giveaway Hop features a variety of great products for kids of all ages! Once you have entered to win here, be sure to visit all of the participating blogs at the bottom of this post!

Don’t forget to enter to win the Shake, Rattle, & Roll Grand Prize sponsored by Tommee Tippee! You will have the chance to win a Closer to Nature Audio Baby Monitor valued at $149.99!  Visit Formula Mom to Enter the Shake, Rattle, & Roll Grand Prize Giveaway!!

Disclosure: Formula Mom, Tales From the Nursery, and the Shake, Rattle, & Roll bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that fail to fulfill their prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This Blogging Break Brought to You In Part By...

The Hunger Games

(and in part by the opening of our apartment pools, can't you just tell Lucia loves it?) I've been engrossed in the Hunger Games Trilogy the past few days and probably won't have another "real" post up until I've finished.  I've been reading several non-fiction books recently and while they've been fascinating, there is nothing quite like getting lost in a good fiction book (or three).  

Tell me, what's the most recent book you couldn't put down?  I'll be looking for another once I'm done. 

While I'm on this little break, I do have a few giveaways to keep you busy:

And a few posts you might have missed from the past few weeks:

I'll rejoin you again once I know that Katniss is safe and sound, the Capitol has been taken down, & true love has conquered all.  And once I can convince Lucia that the pool isn't so bad after all!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

AK 47 Shirt Review

My dad is an avid hunter and gun enthusiast.  I grew up spending days with the family target shooting out on the prairie or at the shooting range.  When I was given the opportunity to review awesome gun t-shirts, I thought about getting one in my dad's size and letting him test it out for me...but I decided that this shirt was too fun to pass up on and got it for myself instead.

In addition to being a fun way to express my support of the second amendment (and being a bit cheeky and controversial too!), I thought this shirt was very flattering.  I ordered a small men's shirt and expected it to be baggy, but it was the perfect fit.  Browsing the website, I was also impressed that each shirt design (and there are several fun designs!) is offered in various styles, ranging form the traditional shirt that I reviewed to long sleeves, hoodies, girly tees, baby doll tees and more.  It's not often that gun shirts are offered in specific female fits! 

Overall, I was very pleased with this shirt and I would strongly consider buying one for my dad, husband, or other gun enthusiasts in my life.  As for my shirt, I'm interested in seeing the reaction I get wearing it next time I go to yoga class or Whole Foods!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

On Patience, Obedience and Dependence

I am honored to have contributed a guest post for Truly Rich Mom's Amazing Grace for Mom Series about what motherhood has taught me about patience, obedience and dependence.  Here's an excerpt:

Although I know that God has always had plans for me, now that I am a mother, His plans are more visible than ever.  And in fact, motherhood in itself is part of God’s great plan and the surprise answer to so many of my prayers.  My daughter is the obvious answer to my husband’s and my prayers for a child.  The role of motherhood, however, has answered my prayers for increased patience, obedience, and dependence on the Lord...continue reading at Truly Rich Mom

If you are visiting Catholic Newlywed for the first time from Truly Rich Mom, I invite you to look around and join the conversations about marriage, motherhood, keeping house, saving money, serving the Lord and more!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

When Political Issues Become Personal Attacks

Last night, the television show “What Would You Do?” featured a scenario involving a gay man proposing to his partner.  An actor present at the restaurant was making negative comments to the proposing man and the couple about the marriage not being “real”, etc. (I’m sure you can imagine the kind of comments).  The purpose of the segment was to see how other patrons would react to the scenario, would they stand up for the gay couple or join in the harassment. 

One of the people at the restaurant agreed with the actor that he opposed gay marriage (in an appropriate way, he was not outwardly rude about it, he did not say anything specifically to the couple) and he was lambasted by the TV show as being homophobic (those exact words weren’t said, but it was strongly implied).  According to the show, it is inappropriate and politically incorrect to express opposition to same-sex marriage.  I was very disappointed with this interpretation.  (You can see the entire segment here, click on “Gay Marriage Proposal Stirs Emotions” and judge for yourself).  It was brought to my attention by Elia of Conservamom that perhaps even more disconcerting than the disdain for his opinion is that this man is identified in the segment not only by name, but also by the name of his boat and where it is docked, which seems to be singling him out for retaliation for his views.

Of course I don’t advocate harassing a same-sex couple for any reason; however, people who disagree with the legalization of same-sex attraction should be able to express their opinions without being automatically written off as a small, backward group of bigots.  Opposing same-sex marriage is not synonymous with homophobia.  Same-sex marriage is a political issue.  Opposing that issue does not mean that one harbors ill will toward people with same-sex attraction.  (Just as all religious Americans shouldn’t be portrayed as ignorant and dim-witted simply for having faith.) It’s time that the media portrays those on both sides of the issue fairly and with respect.  After all, opponents of same-sex marriage make up approximately half of the population of the United States*. 

It’s not politically correct to make assumptions about others, to judge them based on how they feel about one issue.  Unless, of course, you are the media and the position on the issue is traditional and conservative.  If that’s the case, judge away. 

Or, I propose a different approach.  I’ll listen to you.  You’ll listen to me.  I’ll respect you.  You’ll respect me.  We’ll put forth our differing political positions and we’ll let our political system work how it’s supposed to, with all sides presented equally and fairly.  And in the meantime, I’ll continue to treat the members of our community with same-sex attraction with the love and respect they deserve because they too are my brothers and sisters in Christ.

*A few recent articles from a variety of sources that support this statistice: Half of Americans Support Legal Gay Marriage from GALLUP Politics (also of interest in this article is the breakdown of support/opposition by faith – Protestants and Catholics – with the statistic that 51% of Catholics support same-sex marriage), Fox News poll: Majority opposes gay marriage, doesn't want constitutional amendment, Obama’s Switch on Same-Sex Marriage Stirs Skepticism from The New York Times.