My Motherification.

Last year at this time, I was not a mom. I don’t mean to point out a technical reality, because I actually technically was a mother with an unborn son. However, until I was able to behold Georgie, my heart had not really “mother-fied.” Even then, it had a lot of melting to do.

Stepping back from a full time job was hard. I knew it was best for our family’s situation, but I wasn’t thrilled about the idea. Knowing that possibility of grad school or law school was being overshadowed by something greater wasn’t easy either. This was not because I wasn’t madly in love with my son. It was just a big paradigm shift.

In a way, I think my desires act a lot like CDs in a five disc player. During different seasons of my vocation one CD is playing, but the others are still there. They haven’t been ejected, but acting on them right now would be like rocking Georgie to sleep with Bruno Mars. Not totally off base, but not quite right.

With the help of a years worth of Georgie, my husband’s encouragement, and some oxytocin, I now really feel like a mom. What’s more, I love being a mom.

Here are some things my high school and college friends would be surprised to know I do now.

1. Wake up early
2. Meal plan
3. Clean regularly (not just straighten up)
4. Kill spiders (if Josh isn’t home)
5. Research nutrition

Those might seem like little things, but for me they’re huge. And, they were all motivated by my son.

Being a mom is humbling. One of my new friends in Flagstaff pointed out that we don’t get an evaluation on how we are doing, no measurable praise from some outsider looking in. For me, that was difficult, and the thing that has helped me grow the most. I am now motivated by the maintenance of Georgie’s well being, or happiness, not by recognition from others.

I’m obviously prideful, but not as much as I was before I became a mom. Only Giorgio could humble me in such a major way that I would actually allow.

Thanks, son.

Happy birthday to you.

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This is Aunt Em.

The following is a note from one of my best friends. We walked to school together, listened to Backstreet together and roomed together in college. Hoping our kids will do the same together someday. Backstreets back alright? 

 

Happy birthday G-man!!

I just wanted you to know how much you are loved.  When I found out you were born, I ran in the hallway and started crying even though I was coaching a volleyball game!  I was just so excited to meet you I didn’t care who saw me.  I got to meet you the next weekend with Chaz and Anthony.  We all loved you right away.  Especially Chaz and Anthony.

 

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I don’t know if you know this, but your mommy is part of a very special club, the Myrtle Street Gang..  There are only four members: your mommy Auntie Sara, “Auntie” Britt, and “Auntie” Em (me!).  We all grew up together and have been best friends since grade school. But now, YOU are part of the Myrtle Street Gang!  You’ve already been on tons of fun adventures with the Myrtle Street Gang.  Last Christmas for example, you went shopping with us in Omaha!  I can tell by your face how much fun you had. 

 

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You bring everyone so much joy even though you are far away!  I love to see pictures of you changing and growing.  One night this summer, Uncle Chaz and I got to babysit you.  We had so much fun watching you take toys out of the toy box and put them back in, over and over.  It was also hilarious when you crawled into a diaper box and smacked a football into your face for fun.  I think you’ll make a great linebacker someday.   Hopefully we can come see you again soon.  Here is a picture of us when we visited you and your mommy and daddy in South Dakota. 

 

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Hope you have a great birthday Georgie! 
Love,
Auntie Em

This is why we do what we do. (Guest Post: Julie Bushaw)

I had the awesome opportunity to tag along on an NAU hiking trip to Sedona, AZ with around 60 other students.

Taking a break from cliff jumping, rock climbing, and swimming I was able to sit down with a girl named Bre.  She started explaining to me that she was applying to go to school for a year to earn a degree in life-long ministry.  She felt God’s call to apply and hopefully be able to do His work in impoverished countries.

I was excited to meet another missionary and started to explain the work I do with FOCUS.  She asked me a lot of questions about the mission and my Catholic faith and finally thanked me for the work we were doing.  She ended by saying that she hasn’t met many Catholics who actually practice their faith.

I told her that is exactly why I do the work I do, and exactly why FOCUS exists.

I was so thankful to have met her and have the opportunity to reflect on the reason the Lord has called me to this mission.

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Julie is a first year FOCUS missionary from Grand Forks, North Dakota. She graduated with her degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Dakota. 

This is Birthday Week.

We are getting ready for Georgie to turn one.

What?

Time has flown.

I dare say Georgie has impacted my world, and many others’ lives in a way that makes me wonder if our calendars have it wrong. He has to be older than one. At the same time, there’s no way he’s already one.

Hard to believe he won’t remember this year. So, I thought I’d spend this week sharing memories that he can one day read: goofy moments, adventures and reflections on how he’s changed me.

Anyone else want to contribute? Send me an email and photos if you’d like (bethsanto@me.com) and I’ll post your memory :)

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Walk it Out.

So, I have a confession to make: Georgie can walk. He’s been walking since the 2nd. I didn’t want to say anything because I knew it was common courtesy to accompany such an announcement with a video. And, I wanted the video to be cool, darnit.

Today, I had a chance to use our laptop, and a whole chunk of time to myself. So, I put together a little trailer of his cool new (though dangerous…as I learned last night) trick.

Enjoy!

Georgie’s First Injury

Tonight parental peace of mind cost a mere $25 (thank you, insurance).

Georgie was playing with plastic bowls and tupperware while I was cooking and…shoot! He tumbled onto the edge of one of the bowls. The tears were immediate, which was alarming, since he rarely really cries. So, I grabbed him and tried to comfort him. I was surprised to find out there was blood, and a lot of it.

He had cut his lip.

So, after a minor freak out, an failed attempt to have him suck on a cold washcloth, a frantic phone call to husband, then to my own mom, we decided to take him to the Urgent Care Center, just in case he needed stitches.

He didn’t. Thank God.

He thought the little field trip was pretty fun. Josh and I felt much better knowing that he was okay.

Is this like hazing into parenthood? If so, I hope there are no repeat rituals.

“THE BOWL” dun. dun. dun.

Didn’t look so bad after we got him cleaned off.

Our first visit to an Urgent Care Center.

For the Love of Living Together

I’ll freely admit that I have a lot more “lazy” habits than my husband. In fact, he’s taught me a lot about laundry since I think I did mine maybe three times a semester. And, for most of college, I had a roommate who could double as my mother when it came to fulfilling our domestic needs. (Thanks Hol!) I’ve always been somewhat of a neat freak, and am obsessed with things being “in their place,” but I always put homework or hangout before scrubbing or sweeping.

I have come a long way since college. I actually enjoy cooking and have learned to deep clean rather than straighten up a room. Not to mention, I do laundry several times a week.

I do still forget (every.single.time.) to clean my hair out of the drain, and move the drivers seat back and the steering wheel up.

Now, I’ve finally caught Josh in a habit of illogical behavior of his own…
(the lid is closed and the basket is completely EMPTY)

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Photo Update: Grand Canyon

During our first week here, before even half our boxes were unpacked, we took a trip to the Grand Canyon. I’m not going to lie, I did have a “Bobby! Cindy!” chant in my head on the way there. (If you get the Brady Bunch reference, good job!) When we got there, I was stunned. It is quite the site!

Here are some photos from the natural wonder of the world.