Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day from Clare

Grammy just couldn't help but get her this super cute Valentine's outfit. And she got to wear it for our dinner with Granddad & Grandma Herring and Uncle Tom & Aunt Mary!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Frustrations with Politics

I know that for the most part, our family blog is for, well...our family. Tom keeps everyone up-to-date with his political debates over on his blog. But I really feel the necessity of posting something on my own ideas and frustrations with the political world right now.

You might have guessed by reading Tom's blog that both he and I are supporting Mike Huckabee over John McCain. There are a lot of reasons for this. Watch this video on CNN (yes, Tom already posted it on his blog, but I like it) and you'll see that Huckabee touches on MAJOR issues for me as a conscientious Catholic voter.

As Catholics we are called to vote with an informed conscience. My informed conscience tells me that, according to Church teaching, certain issues take precedence over others. The so-called "life issues" that are important and non-negotiable for me as a Catholic are abortion, euthanasia, gay "marriage," fetal stem cell research (I fully support adult stem cell research, which has yielded hundreds of advances while fetal stem cell research has yielded NONE), and human cloning. Other issues, such as immigration, welfare reform, etc. are quality of life issues and to me, take a back seat when we cannot even guarantee the right to life of the most vulnerable in our society.

Ok, enough of that. It's only one of my frustrations. Here's another one. I tend to be both a social conservative (see above issues) as well as a fiscal conservative, and I favor less government intervention wherever possible. What I CANNOT understand is the sheer volume of conservative political pundits who cannot seem to get their hierarchy of values straight! Tom and I are both fans of talk radio, but frankly, I can't stand to listen to it around elections times simply because every one of them rants and raves about "real conservative" issues such as illegal immigration, welfare reform, the war in Iraq, government spending, etc. But do you think that they even mention the Life Issues? Nope. Almost silent on them. In fact, they all seem to be dead-set against the only truly pro-life, pro-family candidate out there: Mike Huckabee. At almost every opportunity, the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Matt Drudge, John Carlson (local in Seattle), Kirby Wilbur (also local in Seattle), Glenn Beck, and Ann Coulter take shots at Huckabee, calling him a variety of names from "religious bigot" all the way to "stupid and easily led."

Ah! I'm tired of it. Here's a great article on Catholic Online that expresses my frustrations beautifully.

Enough about politics. Clare is napping but will probably wake up in a few minutes, so I'm going to go try to get some laundry done while she's still down for the count.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A first

So today is actually the first time that Clare has managed to poop on me. We were sitting here at the computer when suddenly she loaded her diaper. I didn't see anything going up her back, (where it usually will blow out if she's going to do it) so I thought we were alright. Nope. I looked down, and she had it dribbling down her leg, on to my lap & legs, on the office chair, and down on to the carpet. Wow. She got a hose-down for that one...and so did I.

Friday, February 8, 2008

February Update

So after posting that picture of Clare last night very quickly, I thought that I should probably go back and actually update all of our adoring fans on the Herring family. :)

Things are pretty much the same -- nothing too exciting. Ok, well, that's kind of an understatement. Things are always exciting with a 5-month old around here to take care of.

Some milestones of Clare's: rolling over both directions with ease; when on her tummy she now draws her knees up and sticks her bum in the air -- will we have a baby on the move soon?; scooting backward -- just getting off the blanket takes about 5 minutes, so she's not going anywhere quickly; DROOLING, drooling, and more drooling; learning how to make noise (she's started to enjoy banging things like rattles & spatulas or pounding her hands on any surface she can reach); putting her fingers in the mouths, eyes, or nostrils of the person holding her; sticking her fingers in the toaster while on the counter in her bumbo seat while I'm cooking -- we're unplugging it as a rule now; reaching up to bang the wine glasses together (they hang on a rack under the cabinet)- amazingly, she hasn't broken one yet!

Tom and I are still doing well; he's still working 12 hours a day, and now he's back on the night shift. Clare and I miss him, but really enjoy our cuddling time when he crawls in to bed at 6 A.M. This has actually been great, because she sleeps SO much better when she's next to someone; so I can get up early in the morning and leave her to sleep with Tom for a while as I get ready for the day and try to get some things done around the house before she's ready to take on the day.

Well, this little one in my lap is getting restless. She's been so good so far sitting here banging on the desk and occasionally the keyboard, but now it's time to GET UP, Mom!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Come on in, the water's great!

Clare used to HATE baths! We have an actual baby bathtub, but when she has a diaper blow out we usually just dunk her in the sink as quickly as possible. : ) This was one such occasion.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Eternal Rest grant unto him, O Lord...

It is with sadness that I share with you all the news that our beloved Founder and father in Christ, Father Marcial Maciel, LC, has passed away. Tom and I began our blog echoing his words, and we pray that our lives may continue to share in the love that he had for Our Lord. Here is the letter to Regnum Christi members from our General Director, Fr. Alvaro Corcuera, LC, relating the news of Father Maciel's death.

My dear friends in Christ:

"And the Word was made flesh!" These were the last words that Nuestro Padre left written. He knew that the Incarnation gave meaning to all our lives. As we know, ever since his childhood and adolescence, our Lord granted him the grace of clearly perceiving the relative value of time in the face of eternity. He always taught us that Christ is the center, the only reason of our existence: "…in the great Mystery of his Presence in the Eucharist… we can touch him and almost feel him as our Brother and Father, Friend and Redeemer. Thus… he has willed to draw us to Himself until the joyful day when, breaking all bonds, free in his total plenitude, we will be able to contemplate him in the life to come" (LNP, March 11, 1975).

Within the deep sadness and sorrow that this news gives us, I also have the joy of telling you that Nuestro Padre has reached the end of his earthly pilgrimage. With the peace that always filled his soul, he departed for his eternal destiny on January 30 in the United States.

Certainly, although we all knew this moment had to come, on a human level it still causes us deep sadness. His departure hurts us in the deepest part of our soul. On the other hand, Nuestro Padre always spoke to us of hope, and when he talked about death, he always talked about the Resurrection. And so, we are not going to stay only in the sadness of the moment or in the tears of the heart. Today we must listen to St. Paul’s exhortation: "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice" (Phil 4:4). We must rejoice with the supernatural joy of the one who lives by faith and hope, carrying in our hearts the joy of being united to Christ the Good Shepherd, and walking at his side like the pilgrims on the way to Emmaus, with a firm stride toward eternity.

As he often told us, he didn’t want us to focus on him: "If only you could see not me, but God’s plan"; he wanted us to go to Christ. It is around the tabernacle and in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament that we will be most deeply united, with the strength and singular significance of charity. This will be the best way of remembering him and of keeping him always in our hearts.

There is so much that we would like to say. But I believe that what we all want now is the silence to contemplate and thank, to suffer and trust with the joy of one who believes and hopes in the midst of a sorrow that can’t be expressed in words. Let us unite ourselves to the Blessed Virgin; she will guide our minds toward the depths of the mystery that surrounds us, and will always fill us with her peace. Nuestro Padre had explicitly asked me to be accompanied at the hour of his death by an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who has always been his faithful and loving Mother. May she help us to continue our mission of total service to the Catholic Church we love so much, in full and filial loyalty to the Holy Father.

The funeral will be celebrated in an atmosphere of prayer, in a simple and private way. We will accompany him with the prayers that we will all be offering for his eternal repose.

Profoundly united to all of you in prayer and in the mission we share, I remain your affectionate servant in Christ,

Álvaro Corcuera, L.C.

I have had the grace of meeting Father Maciel and of receiving the Body of Our Lord from his very hands at Mass. I pray that God never lets me take this gift for granted, and that I can continue meditating on the great work that Christ has begun through Nuestro Padre. May we all be as docile to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit as he was. Te queremos, Nuestro Padre.