Friday, January 13, 2012

Feeling grateful for my blessings, and it finally looks like a real Northeastern winter

We have had a *very* mild winter this year, and Mike and I were actually commiserating about how much we miss the snow! Well, God answered our prayer. :) Today we have a good old fashioned lake effect snow storm swirling about. I'm at work, but I'm dying to get home and be with Mike and my babies. I have dance on Friday nights, but I'm wondering if it will be canceled. If so, I'm looking forward to knitting and sipping a hot beverage later with Mike.

And all week, as I've been dealing with some little worries that have popped up, I've been thinking about how grateful I am for the wonderful blessings that I have in my life. I have such a beautiful family. To say that our adjustment to parenting baby #2 is going smoother than the first time around would be the understatement of the century. Of course, I felt honored to be Hank's mom all along. But this time, everything is just a joy, with both children. That adjustment to baby #1 was very, very tough for both Mike and I. Now, I keep dropping hints about Baby CL #3, and Mike keeps giving me panicked looks :) (because Anne is still quite little) but to even contemplate such a thing makes me so, so happy. I'm just so grateful for my family and for the future that we have together.

Speaking of good things, we're all loving Henry's Catholic school. I really feel like Mike's positive reaction to it is nothing but God's grace. Not that he was ever opposed to Catholic school, he was just indifferent to it since the public school costs nothing but our tax dollars. Now, we're paying both school tax AND Catholic school tuition, but we're both so thrilled with what we're seeing in Henry and our own interaction with the school.

I will say one thing that is very different that one has to get used to in Catholic schools: fundraising! Holy smokes. At all Catholic schools in this area, you have a fundraising obligation in addition to your tuition. If you don't meet the goal via specified fundraisers, you have to pay out the balance. In addition to that, the school is always offering things for sale to benefit its overall financial viability: Entertainment Books, Christmas wreaths, calendars, candy bars, the list goes on and on. I don't mind it, but it is certainly very different from my public school world.

I do like feeling like I'm contributing to the school's future. I think that in the past, people who belonged to a parish with a school felt much more "obliged" (if you will) to send their kids to the school for them to receive a Catholic education. Nowadays, that really isn't the case. Times are hard for everyone right now (especially in this area) and people are trying to save money. They may not feel like it's worth it to pay tuition when they could send their kids to the public school for nothing. Plus, there are just so many less regular Mass goers than ever before, so people don't feel connected to a parish in any way. Thus, I feel good that I'm supporting our local Catholic school.

That being said, anybody need any Easter chocolate? If so, send me a quick message. :)


  1. Another consideration with the Catholic-vs.-public school thing is that oftentimes the Catholic schools just...aren't. Obviously, Hank's is. :) However, I attended one Catholic school for a while wherein I was taught dubious things about the divinity of Christ, checked out a picture book from the library about how "Mary and Joseph were going to have a baby. They didn't know if it was a boy or a girl, but they loved it anyway.", and so forth. I know this wasn't a unique experience, either.

    Perhaps with the increased orthodoxy of our generation really Catholic schools will become the norm rather than the exception. At least, I hope so!

  2. Hate to say it, but there is quite a bit of fundraising that goes on in the public school world too. Our oldest went to Catholic school for a year and they only had a big school auction. In public school we have frozen cookie dough sales, Family Fun Day, 5K run, and the "walks" as in Walk for Juvenile Diabetes, March of Dimes, etc. (Granted, some of this isn't to raise money for the school, but it's still taxing on the budget.) Also you can't forget that monthly line item in the budget for "memberships" as in PTA (each school), booster club, yearbook club, etc. etc.

    Really enjoying your blog. I'm in a academic library and just returned from maternity leave. I roared with laughter when I read your post about pumping - only to realize your office door was "open." I've been extra special careful all week. And I haven't had to store EBM in the common fridge yet... ack!

    Enjoy your snow!

  3. Me! Me! Me! I suppose I don't really "need" any Easter chocolate. But since you asked... :)


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