Lent, 2015

The Eucharistic Minister had good form in ash distribution!
Happy day after Mardi Gras, also known as Ash Wednesday, also known as the day that everyone does a lot of double takes about the smudge of black on my head (though not as much as if I lived elsewhere since, well, Boston and all us Irish Catholics).

We celebrated Mardi Gras on Lundi because Matty has class on Tuesday nights, and due to having the day off for President's Day it worked out really well. I got to spend a lot of time in the kitchen making jambalaya, cornbread and king cake, all from scratch! This was the first time I had done jambalaya all the way from scratch, including the Cajun spice that I mixed myself and I must admit that it was amazing. We put out a little decor from our travels to NOLA, put on some beads and threw Rebirth on the speakers and had ourselves a pretty awesome lil' party (though I did miss the Abitas this year, sigh).

Due to the current situation complete, utter, terrible, chaos in Boston we have been driving in to work each day, having our nanny take the car home, and then doing the loop backwards to pick us both up from work and get our nanny home safely. What was once less than an hour has turned into at least three both ways and it is making me want to die cry both die and cry.
Madeleine is, how do I say this, not a morning person. She likes to wake up, lounge around and maybe think about changing out of her pjs at 8am, though she would be pretty content to wait until closer to lunch to get up and at 'em. Having to drag her out of the house at 6:45 has been a test in patience and replacements for cuss words like I have not had to deal with in quite a while. So this morning with our eye on the 6:45 mass at our old church we figured we would get up at 5 and pray a lot that we would at least be able to carry her safely to the car as she kicked, screamed and generally made for another lovely winter morning.

And then, a Lenten miracle. Not only was she fed, dressed and ready to get out the door with a coat AND boots but she was actually quite pleasant and....this is where things get crazy....she colored quietly in the front pew with just the occasional excited comment about the goings-on in mas (totally appropriate and made our awesome former priest smile a lot). Y'all it was a LENTEN MIRACLE! We even got a chance to chat with said former priest who happens to be on the board for the school that we are applying to for Maddie and he offered to put in a word for her once her application comes up. It is good to be in with God's men on the ground, I tell ya.

So here we are, Ashes on our heads and ready for the next 40 days of preparation for Easter. This is my second Lenten season pregnant and once again I cannot fast, but I am trying to be mindful of what I eat today and not be extravagant (while still sticking to no meat).
Friday is our weekly take-out night and we have discussed moving it during Lent because it does not seem like much of a sacrifice to spend a bunch of money on seafood or something fancy every night that we are supposed to be reflecting on sacrifices, penance and the Easter season. The ads for cheese pizza and lobster bake specials around this time do not lose their irony on me.
As for what I am "giving up" for Lent this year, I have again chosen to give up some of my free time and spend a bit of time meditating and reading the Bible each day. I would love to get up early and meditate on the rosary and maybe squeeze in a Psalm before I begin my day, so that is what I am aiming for.
I tend to feel very close to the rosary when I am pregnant, probably because I learned how to pray it the day before we found out I was pregnant with Madeleine. Something about being a mama just makes me feel that much closer to the ultimate mama! I may even be a mama of two before Easter comes around and then I will have lots of late nights to spend reflecting on the awesomeness that these little babies have bestowed upon us.

I hope you all have a lovely, reflective Lenten season and that someone finds a better way to tie the Easter bunny and Church Easter together than we have been toiling with at our dinner table!
Just had to throw in this pic of my Valentine's Day date with my littlest heart warmer.

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