There’s This Thing Called Life

Motherhood is just never what we expect, is it?

I’ve been working hard to prepare my heart for Advent, but it just hasn’t happened as quickly as I’d hoped. I think life has me stressed – the heater went out, the washer died (permanently and we now have to crow bar the dang thing open), car repairs were expensive, one of my kids is *really* testing my patience, I am exhausted, a burglary happened in our neighborhood and has me freaked out and, and, and…


But last night, I did something I don’t usually do. I stayed up way past my bedtime (okay, that I do) but instead of just hitting the pillow I decided to really dive into a book. Forming Intentional Disciples. Every time I read a new chapter I’m all, “Oh my good gravy, I have got to process that on the blog.” This is where I figure out life. Sometimes I think it’s where God speaks to me. Some people pray, others gab with girlfriends, me? I write.

Sometimes I feel brave behind this keyboard. As in, I can write this and nobody is really reading. And then you people comment and I think, dang, maybe I should’ve said that a little nicer. Or, maybe I shouldn’t have said it all.

This weekend I’m heading on retreat with the Dominican Sisters. I have every reason in the world not to go, but my heart knows better. As does my belly. They have go-od food there. And confession. And adoration. And now I’ve lost all my readers who aren’t Catholic. Just trust me when I tell you that I am never more at peace, more content, more happy than I am when I sit in the chapel with Jesus. That’s what adoration is for us Catholics. It’s like a frosty Dr Pepper on a hot summer’s day with your BFF. And I get to chat with Him this weekend.

I need that.

We all need peace, I think. Christmas often gets a bad rap, but we mostly do it to ourselves. You know, the **** elf has to travel to the North Pole and appear in different places in your home (why, or WHY did we start that tradition?), the house has to be decorated, cards sent out, parties attended, gifts bought. And we feel it all has to be done a certain way because Pinterest says so.

I’m trying to capture the Kathryn from Thanksgiving Day. The one who felt content to just eat some pie, wash some dishes and make homemade hot chocolate for the kids. I trust she’ll reappear this weekend and all will be right with the world. As I was reading last night, I felt Baby W kick – a lot. Those sweet little flutters reminded me how much I adore being pregnant during the Advent season. In some ways, it feels very cool to be in solidarity with Mary. While I know there’s no way I could ride a donkey at nearly 19 weeks, much less 40, it’s the anticipation of the birth that I love. If I feel this way about our new life, how much joy and worry must Mary have felt 2,000 years ago? It’s mind boggling stuff.

I am praying that your Advent is filled with some peace – you’re going to have drama, so just own it – but I’m hopeful the peace gets a bigger place at your dinner table, and mine, too.

Happy first week of Advent!


  1. Colleen Martin on December 3, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Hahaha about the ***** elf! We started the Wisemen Adventures this year to make it a little more meaningful. And yes, it is great to be pregnant during Advent (but I could do without being pregnant for the other 8 months πŸ˜‰

  2. Elda on December 3, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Why is it that I only see you at retreats and pregnant? πŸ˜‰
    Love your blog!!!! Look forward to seeing you.

  3. verdinalouisa on December 3, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Oh, Kathryn! How I wish I were going on that retreat! Advent is the best time to go on a retreat!

    I think we all need to lower our expectations… wouldn’t it be nice to really “be” in Advent?

    Be at peace!


  4. Laura on December 3, 2013 at 9:04 am

    LOL! Loved todays post and the **** elf story. Oh so true in our house! Ed and I even bickered last night about whose turn it was. I was already tucked in bed and I begged him to PLEASE do this tonight. He replied Where? I said, “you really want to know?!” I must remember to thank my dear neighbor for this wonderful gift to my children….NOT! Have a great weekend at the retreat. Wish I could come too, but family traditions are calling me this weekend. πŸ™‚

  5. Tess on December 3, 2013 at 10:05 am

    That retreat sounds WONDERFULβ€”I’m sure it will do your heart so much good. Hope you feel better, Kathryn! The rest of us need your bright spirit and great ideas around here. πŸ™‚

  6. Beth (A Mom's Life) on December 3, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Oh the dreaded elf! My kids love him so we have to do it but otherwise, it just feels like one more thing to remember!

  7. Bonnie on December 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Elf on the Shelf. It looks SO cute – as does the Wisemen one – but I know myself too well and so we don’t do anything like that.

    Could your older kids help with it? Or could he get a letter from Santa saying he’s needed back at the North Pole asap? Is this helpful? I’m trying to be helpful.

    • Kathryn on December 4, 2013 at 11:33 am

      Bonnie, I love you.

      • Bonnie on December 4, 2013 at 2:06 pm

        Ah thanks, K. Love you too.

  8. Victoria F on December 3, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I’ve been pregnant during advent but never actually felt the baby. Such a beautiful thing. And, Ive been thinking a lot about Mary and Joseph’s trek to Bethlehem. It is Far! I really think only the Queen of Heaven could do that, cuz, dang. You’re the best, peace be with you, mama.

  9. Jennifer @ Little Silly Goose on December 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing how you’re felling this Advent. Similarly, I am trying to be at peace and am frustrated to find life a little overwhelming this week… perhaps because we were gone all weekend so that to do list started getting rather backed up, not to mention all the work of unpacking. Anyway, praying that we all find peace (as much as can be expected when you’re a mom anyway) and grow closer to God this Advent.

  10. Beverly on December 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Oh, Kathryn, I am so with you! I am very excited about this retreat, yet there are so many reasons I shouldn’t be making the trip. Of course it would turn out to be one of the busiest weekends for our family (say a little prayer for my husband who will be doing some major shuffling!)
    I had to laugh about the Elf! I am sooooo glad I never started that, as I could see myself getting in way over my head. (It’s a fun thing that I so typically would have jumped at, so I’m not sure why we didn’t start it, but I know now I would never have the time or energy to keep it up this time of year). However, I did join in a handcrafted Jesse Tree Ornament Swap that almost did me in! πŸ˜‰ You are so spot-on in that we ourselves bring on a lot of the holiday stress.
    Fortunately, there is an Advent Mission going on at our parish right now with the awesome Fr. Cedric Pisegna that is keeping me grounded, at least for the time being. Let’s all pray for each other these upcoming 3 weeks to keep the focus on CHRISTmas –and vow to stay off Pinterest!!! πŸ˜‰

    oh p.s.
    I delivered one baby in January and one in early February and it IS cool to relate to pregnant Mary during this time of year. I remember crying during Mass readings those Decembers!

  11. Amelia @ One Catholic Mama on December 3, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    We never did the Elf on the Shelf thing…and I’m so glad There is no way I would remember to do that. It’s bad enough remembering to do our advent calendar.

    Prayers you find the peace you need this Advent. I really need peace as well and am working on learning to be quiet and enjoy the peace instead of feeling hte need to fill evry moment with activity and running around to get a millions things done.

  12. Lindsay on December 3, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    You are not losing the non-Catholics! =)

    • Kathryn on December 4, 2013 at 11:33 am


  13. Susan on December 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Oh, how I love retreats. It’s where my soul learns how to breathe again. This is the PERFECT time to go. ..whether it feels like it or not. I will be praying for you!! Hugs!!

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