Tuesday, January 22, 2013

40 Years Ago

40 years ago the decision of Roe v. Wade made abortion legal.  Since then it is estimated that over 55 million abortions have taken place.

A few months ago, I saw a post on Facebook by someone in support of abortion and a women's right to choose to have an abortion.  I read through some of her comments and was shocked when she said that a fetus wasn't human life, it was only the "potential" for human life.  I wasn't really sure what to say at that point in time, or how to rationally get my point across so I knew it would be a good topic for a blog post.

As someone who us ultimately pro-life because of my Catholic faith and beliefs, I am also a scientist.  I'm inquisitive by nature, I want to know the how and why of things and how to explain them using logic, even secular logic.  While it is passion behind personal beliefs that is usually an impetus to speak-out on things, I fear it sometimes gets me in trouble when trying to defend my beliefs.  I know I can get a little worked up.  I'm going to use very secular terms in the next part of my post to show things in as plain language as possible.

Let's go back to the basics: from the moment when a sperm and egg combine during the biological process of fertilization, a new human has been created.  Now, is this life or is this the potential for life?  It is life!  It is a human life with it's very own unique DNA.

Now the to crux of the issue that was posted on Facebook: it is only the "potential" for human life.  I do not disagree that the newly created human life can not survive outside of the woman's body.  But how would the situation surrounding how a life is being supported or sheltered make it less of a human?

Take another biological example: developing from egg to tadpole to frog.  A tadpole would not survive outside of water during stages of it's development.  It is still a frog that is living, growing and developing in an environment that is different from the environment it will need to survive when it reaches the next stage of development.

Let's take this a step further, a human life that has been born/exited the womb of the biological mother.  I think most people would be hard-pressed to find someone who said that it would be acceptable or a choice to kill that human life.  The only change is that it is no longer living inside another human being.  The recently born human life can now breathe air and consume food.  Is this new human life all of the sudden not dependent on another human as it was approximately 38 weeks before it exited the mother?  No, this life still needs to be fed and sheltered and can not accomplish those things on it's own.  Is this still only "potential" human life because it can not survive without support of another?  Should this new life be able to be legally killed simply because another chooses not to support this life?  No.  Although it is possible that there are those who believe this should be an option, which I know is not necessarily a "mainstream" belief as abortion unfortunately is seen.

Abortion is the killing of human life during a stage of development because a woman chooses not to support that life.  Does pregnancy and birth affect a woman and her life?  Absolutely, there is no doubt about that fact.  I believe there needs to be support women who choose to have babies regardless of circumstances.  I know there are support programs out there with the potential to grow to support more pregnant women.  Perhaps I will try to gather those things into a future post.

Maybe it also needs to be clearly stated that I am pro-life, not just against abortion.  I do not believe in or support the death penalty or euthanasia.

On this tragic anniversary of Roe v. Wade please feel free to check out some other well done posts marking the passing of 40 years or on the topic of abortion/pro-life.

I hope this post has made sense to those who are reading and that everyone can take the time to reflect on it.  I hope and pray everyday that abortion becomes a thing of the past.  I also am asking for a prayer request for the 55 million or more lives that have been lost due to abortion in the past 40 years.

I welcome any and all comments/questions to this post.  I only ask that everyone keeps their comments respectful.  Open debate/discussion is never a bad thing in my opinion.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hello 2013!

Well, a lot has been going on around here... and yet, not that much all at the same time!  The holidays were filled with family and fun to be had for all.  Matt and I just celebrated our 5 year anniversary.  We've certainly managed to have a lot going on in the past 5 years... and there's no slowing down for us anytime soon!

1 day shy of 13 weeks with baby #3!
That's right folks, baby #3 is on his or her way!  Christopher has zero clue even though I daily talk to him about the baby in Mommy's belly.  Jack on the other hand the experienced big brother and is convinced we're having a girl.  We've been trying to come up with boy names (since we've already used the two we knew we liked) and Jack is no help.  When I ask him what some names for a baby boy should be, I am told in a very matter-of-fact tone of voice "No Mom, it's a baby girl!".  Well, excuse me!  Baby's due date is July 29th.  So if he or she is like her brother's it will be within a day of that... but I'm sure now that I've said that it will be way off!  Ha!

I am definitely going to try to blog more often... and coming out of the 1st trimester I think I should start having the energy to do it!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

30 Days of Giving Thanks: Day 24

Today I am very thankful for being Catholic.  I was born and raised Catholic and I think some people attribute to me still being Catholic to "not knowing any better".  That could not be further from the truth.  Throughout my relatively short life I have been blessed to experience many different ideas/belief systems and cultures (most of them through Catholic schools) and I continue to find that my Catholic faith is where I belong.

I've been to Catholic schools most of my life (with a small exception of part of kindergarten through 3rd grade) and I think that has been a huge part of my faith in the Church.  Throughout my many years of formal and informal faith education I have questioned and continued to learn more about the Church and her teachings.  I've been taught the history of the Church, the meaning behind the sacraments, and been an RCIA (Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults) sponsor... all of these have shown me more reasons why I continue to belong to the Catholic Church.  There are several unpopular beliefs and stances that the Church takes, and I know it is not easy to stick to these beliefs and it is even more difficult

Here's my top 10 things I love about my Catholic faith in no particular order (because everyone has favorites):

  1. Eucharist: I mean it is Jesus!  Who doesn't love that?
  2. Baptism: This sacrament took on a whole new meaning when Jack was baptized... it is truly a beautiful moment in a person's life (infant to adult).
  3. Confirmation: Okay, so I love the smell of chrism oil :-)
  4. Natural Family Planning: I know it's not technically part of the Catholic Church, but the Church definitely supports it and it has been a great blessing to our family!
  5. Mass: While right now it can be quite difficult with our kids to fully participate in Mass, I love all parts of the Mass (see #1, the music, the people, the readings).
  6. The Church's history: This might be the only history lesson I really enjoy to continue to hear and learn more about!
  7. My friends: I've been involved in Church activities for as long as I can remember and I have gained some amazing friends along the way!
  8. Reconciliation: Although I honestly don't go often enough, I always get a lot out of it.
  9. Community support:  Catholic charities help so many people throughout the world for a number of different things, and I love the amount of reach and support provides to the world!
  10. Vocations: This is a bit generic, but when I was part of a NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference) discussion on vocations, I realized how important it is and powerful it can be to discern your true vocation!

On a completely unrelated note, please go out and support a small business today (or this weekend or this holiday season)!  I know a number of people who own or work for a small business so it is very important to me to support this part of our economy.

Friday, November 23, 2012

30 Days of Giving Thanks: Day 23

Today I am thankful for my nephews.  Right now, we only have nephews on my husband's side of the family and we all have boys... that's right, NO girls in that generation!

This past weekend my brother-in-law & sister-in-law drove up from Texas with their 3 boys.  Sunday we were able to get all of the boys together and it was so great to see them all playing together!  Jack had been talking about his Texas cousins for WEEKS and was so happy to get to run around and play with them.  I love getting to see them all interact and play with each other.

Tommy is the oldest at 8 (and 1/2!) and he has all of the typical personality traits of the oldest kid.  He was born about a month after Matt and I started dating.  I remember getting to hold him when he was just a couple weeks old.... I can't believe how old he is now!  Even looking back at our wedding photos (where he was our ring bearer) it is amazing to see how grown up he has become!  He is super athletic (just like his parents) and into all of the "big sports" (baseball, basketball and soccer).  He's such a sweetheart too... especially with the little ones!  I think he truly loves being the oldest.

Luke is one of a kind!  He's a total sweetheart but hilarious at the same time!  Numerous people have told his mom that she should write a book with all of the funny quotes she posts on Facebook from him.  Luke was just 4 months old at our wedding  He is the kid that can get along with everyone!  He reminds me a lot of my two youngest siblings who were always carrying on conversations with adults when they were little.  Not shy at all!  If you look in the background of the picture of Tommy and Christopher above, Luke is the figure in red in the back lying on the ground... he had just jumped back over the fence!

Brady is my the youngest of Matt's older brother's kids and my adorable godson!  He's an adorable fun loving little man.  He has some unique needs that only makes him more special to all of us.  It was hilarious to watch him as he walked through the kitchen while folks were cleaning up from Thanksgiving and would sneak a pop can off the counter and run off... he's crafty for sure.  He's great at playing games on the iPhones/iPads.  I love watching him enjoying life!

Our youngest nephew Evan is just a little over 24 hours younger that Christopher.  He's got quite the personality already, that is for sure!  He's so physically active he's already running around everywhere!  We always laugh at the expressions he has... he has the most hilarious looking scowl when he's not happy with something.  Uncle Matt gets that look a lot ;-)  It's great to watch him and Christopher interact and I hope they'll be good friends growing up.  Right now the difference between them is the fact that Christopher has an older brother and acts like it... always fighting for toys or wanting to wrestle with Evan.  Evan is not usually too happy about that, ha!

Being an aunt is so much fun!  I love watching all of their personalities develop as they get older... hopefully we'll have more nephews (and maybe a niece or two) in the future once my siblings start getting married and having babies!

Friday, November 16, 2012

30 Days of Giving Thanks: Day 16

Today I am thankful for Thanksgiving!  It seems a little cheesy but I LOVE everything about Thanksgiving.

I love the food... oh, how I love the food!  I can out-eat pretty much anyone at the Thanksgiving table.  Turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls, green beans... then comes the pies!  Cheesecake, pumpkin pie, or pumpkin cheesecake.  I really love baking for Thanksgiving probably as much if not more than consuming all of the yummy food!

I think I might need to bust out my maternity pants for the meal....
I love the fact that Thanksgiving brings people together for a holiday without any expectations except to enjoy a meal together.  It's not like the Christmas holiday when most people do the gift exchange.  I think sometimes that can take away from one of the best parts of the holidays... the people.  Friends, family, whoever you get together with for Thanksgiving: remember to enjoy the fellowship!

Monday, November 12, 2012

30 Days of Giving Thanks: Day 12

Today's post is about being thankful for diversity for thought.

Now that the election has wrapped up, most of the posts (Facebook, blogs, etc.) around politics have died down.  (That's another thing I am definitely thankful for.)  I am not terribly political in the sense that I follow all of the politicians all of the time (career politics = yuck)... but don't take that to mean I am not an informed voter because I absolutely do my best to make sure I am informed!  There are certain topics for me that are not debatable from a morality standpoint (look for one or two posts on that in the future), but a lot of things surrounding government infrastructure, economic policies, etc. are things that I think discussion and eventually compromise needs to occur.

I truly believe that without diversity of thought on the tough topics we face we will not find the best path forward for our country.  My hope and prayer is that while many of us have differing views on what is right we can come together to find a realistic path forward.

Scientific experimentation and discovery is all about taking what we know to make life better/easier/longer.  Where would we be if we have new or different ways to think about solving a problem?  We'd likely not have electricity, cars to drive, or maybe even live in this great country of ours.  Thank goodness for people who "think outside the box"!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

30 Days of Giving Thanks: Day 11

Today I am grateful for weekends, so VERY thankful for family filled weekends.  After being away from my boys for 3 nights (and almost 4 full days), I was very thankful to have a whole weekend to enjoy my little guys.  (Unfortunately, Matt had to work today so it wasn't a whole weekend with all of my guys.)

Yesterday, Jack and I had our own little Mother-Son outing.  We only went to Kohl's & then to Target, but it was fun with just the two of us!  I don't always realize what a smart & funny boy he is!  He was cracking me up the entire time and he was on his best behavior... well, for a 3 year old!  When we first got to Kohl's we walked by the jewelry section and he pulled me over.  He was looking at "all these rings!" and then pointed to a piece and said "Mommy, can I get that 'parkily thing for you?!"  He is such a sweet boy.  This doesn't include the fact that he was talking about "the digger at the store with the rings" when we were on the way to the store.  Matt's response to this story was "That's my boy!"  As if I needed another reason for me to think that he will make a wonderful husband for a young lady someday...

Picking out jewelry!

Jack helped pick out a bow-tie for his uncle's birthday present and then patiently waited in line while we returned something and then bought the gift.  We went across the street to Target to get a couple of cards.  When we were driving over he said "I didn't know there was a Target by Kohl's? Oh, but there are Targets all over this city!".  What a goof-ball... and yes, Target is quite possibly his favorite store!  We enjoyed some popcorn and slushies to round out our Mother-Son outing.

Today we had Christopher's 1 year pictures by my wonderful friend Brooke owner of Cherished Moments Photography.  Christopher had an awesome 1.5-2 hour nap, which is close to record breaking for him, right before we had to leave.  Both boys were in great moods the entire time!  Christopher was happy and we got some awesome shots (that's no surprise, thanks Brooke!) and Jack got to play with his friends, Brooke's girls.  They were all so good she and I braved taking all 5 kids to dinner by ourselves.  And yes, while we were pushing our luck the kids were pretty decent throughout dinner.

Feeling very blessed tonight :-)