catholic funeral: take 3

Grandparents and Grans; I'm in red... apparently I had to pee.  
Last week my grandfather passed away.  Those of you that know me and follow this blog might be thinking 'didn't her grandparents just... die?'  The answer is yes.  This is the THIRD grandparent I've lost in 14 months.    I now have none.   While I know I am lucky to have grandparents into my 30s, well, it's a lot to take in a short amount of time.  Definitely a year of extreme ups and downs for our family.   I grew up with both sets of grandparents less than a mile from my childhood house so losing them all in such a short time frame is a bit insane.

After I heard the (not unexpected) news, Karl and I loaded up the car and hopped on the road.  We drove through the rain ALL DAY (we can not catch a weather break lately on our drives... just ups The Level of Tense a teensy little bit.)  The wake was Thursday evening.  I'm always overwhelmed with wakes.  In my family, they are noisy and well attended and the kids run around while the casket sits up front, open, and people file by at will, offering a quick prayer, a mass card or a respectful goodbye - whether they knew the deceased or not.   Mostly, I'm impressed by the turnout.  Family,  old friends and co-workers of my parents and my dad's siblings... food... subdued laughter... photo boards... congratulations on new births... condolences on other's loss...

Nate and Maura waiting for final formal goodbye.  

The funeral mass was bright and early Friday morning and performed by a priest that started as a deacon in my childhood church and has since moved on but has stayed in touch with my family.  The church we were in was the same one that my parents were married in and that both my sister and I were baptised in.   My dad, the oldest of the six Horan kids, gave a simple and lovely eulogy.  My sister, myself and two other granddaughters brought the gifts to the alter.  My aunt works for the local police department and six or seven of the officers used their days off to stop traffic (full on lights and sirens!) and escort us from the funeral parlor to the church to the cemetery.   The burial was in an enormous military cemetery (same place my mom's parents are buried) - complete with three gun salute, folding of the flag and playing of Taps (I dare you NOT TO CRY DURING THAT!) and presentation of the flag to the family.

Get out of our way: we have STICKERS.  Oh, and cops.  
After the burial we headed BACK to the church where some lovely little old ladies and gentlemen had casseroles prepared in the church/school cafeteria.  I swear to God it smelled exactly the same in there as when I was eight years old.   Several of my family members brought beer (drinking in the church basement!  If I had a dollar for every beer I've consumed on Church property...) and we toasted the day and to being with family.    

Discussing puzzles and ice cream sandwiches.
On a lighter (and only slightly morbid note) I discovered whilst I was nursing the baby in the urn selection room at the funeral parlor, you can, in fact, store your earthly remains in a Cardinals urn for the low, low price of $700!

Photographic evidence.  


sleepy times


Did I really write a post about needing no sleep?

I think immediately after publishing I was overcome by EXHAUSTION.

The whole family (all of us!) were in bed at 7:30 p.m. and we all slept until the alarm went off the next morning.

Then, I dropped Nate off at school on this rainy, dreary day and returned home.  NK and I hopped in bed and snoozed another hour.

I refuse to feel guilty about it!


tidbits for your monday, january 23rd

Nora Kate is rolling over.  For several weeks.  Constantly.  Lay her on her back, walk away... BAM.  Tummy time.  I'm pretty sure Nate didn't roll over until he was, oh, 7 months old or some such ridiculousness so this feels like new territory to us.  Mostly, I tell people it makes me sad because it means she's changing too fast, and, while that is a little true, I'm happy she is healthy and growing and doing her baby thing.  

Our night times are a whole lot of musical beds.  Everyone seems to start the night in their respective sleeping quarters (did you just get an image of Karl and me in two twin beds with hair rollers and flannel button-up pjs cause I DID!) but somehow we become a jumble of arms and legs and 'mommy' and milk in the wee hours of the night.  Karl and I often joke there's a 'boys room' and a 'girls room' in our house.  (At least we think we're joking.)  For me, honestly, I barely notice getting up at night and it rarely bothers me.  I'm pretty sure with five/six hours of sleep and one cup of coffee I can, in fact, conquer the world. 

Nate's video game obsession continues.  Part of me freaks out about him consuming too much media (even with our limits) and part of me wants to sit and play Lego Indiana Jones with him for HOURS.  Because that shit is fun.  It is the first video game I have EVER enjoyed (Mario inclusive) and my friend Kristen and I have been having regular get togethers to play it after hours (and Lego Harry Potter which is also a-mazing.)  I GET IT GAMERS.  Karl keeps slyly mentioning other games I might like but I'm pretty sure Lego games are it for me! 


what bring your baby to work looks like (for me)

So, I just wanted to record some moments of NK on the job.   My boss has been quite flexible with this whole maternity leave and baby mama thing.   (It helps that I am part time and paid a contract labor rate.)  (It also helps that I work in an office of all women.)  (It also helps that I can do a lot of my work at home and on unscheduled hours.)  (It also helps that Nate is in school and loves it.)  (It also helps that I love my job and am good at it.)  BUT STILL I feel like not many bosses would allow their employees to bring their children to some of the places my boss has allowed.

Por ejemplo...

One morning our whole team (five of us) went to look at office space in downtown Little Rock.  We met with our real estate agent and viewed four different properties.  It was the morning of LR's surprise snow shower so I bundled NK up in Nate's old bear suit and we all took turns carrying her. 

One afternoon got together to shoot our company Christmas card on ice.  Yep, on ice.  NK pleasantly hung out in her car seat (In hindsight, maybe I should have brought a stroller that day?!)  while I laced up my skates and twirled around the rink (You can't tell from the photo but right before I was practicing my sow cow...cue music: What Would Brian Boitano Do.)  

This photo courtesy of www.christenbyrd.com.
 One Saturday, I worked Little Rock's annual Holiday Parade (my company coordinates the event).  My job was to man the judges station and make sure the eligible bands and floats stopped to be judged. This day, I was lucky b/c Karl and Nate and a bunch of our friends came down and hung out around the judge's stand.  So, mostly, NK was in her stroller right behind the stage with Karl.  (Though I still had to nurse her in the car WHILE I was tallying the winners after the parade.  Multitasking at its finest... er... or something.) 

Every Tuesday and Thursday she comes to the office with me.  Mostly, it looks like this: 

My part of a New Year's ARG facebook message.

I have to say that a lot of it is NK herself.  When my boss and I first discussed the possibility of Bring Your Baby to Work, I thought 'no freaking way.... not possible.'  If she were a different baby (read: if she screamed her head off day and night) then this would be impossible.   I know it can't last forever (and probably not even for much longer...eventually I will have to actually GO to meetings with clients again) but it's working for right now!  


nuggets of internet goodness

Occasionally I like to post random things from the internets.  This week the internets is being funny.  I don't want you to miss it. 

This one from my friend Bryan, who rules at the Internet: a Ron Swanson Pintrest board entitled "Our gift to the ladies to help them better understand men." 

This one from the YouTube entitled "Shit Mom Bloggers Say" which probably could not be more on point for some, and, honestly, definitely not just 'mom-bloggers'.  ("Can you take a picture while I bake this bread?")

 You all know I love bad reality tv on occasion (cue: Pot Lodem theme song from America's Next Top Model!).  I don't actually watch The Bachelor but this season seems to be garnering all kinds of "this season is crazy!" attention.  Audreya does hilarious recaps on her blog...so, for all you Bachelor lovers out there,  enjoy!  They make me giggle and I don't even watch. 

Also, this one is a bit older.   If you love 90s SNL and haven't seen Portlandia... you might want to check it out.   It's on Netflix instant. 

This one is not suitable for work.  Well, really, it's not suitable for MANY places.  But the first three paragraphs about getting old... had to share.  You might click away after that if your tolerance for profanity is low.

So, what do you have?  Any other internet funnies out there this week!?  Please share.  


sweetie to the sweet love

My friend Kelli is opening a bakery!  Hooray for making dreams REALITY!  Nora Kate and I were honored to attend a premier party this past weekend.

Sarabeth snapped our photo - damn PAPA-PAPA-RAZZI.  Just can't go anywhere!  ;)

I'm also honored that Kelli selected a location so close to my house and to Nate's school!  (For all my locals, on Cantrell next to Taziki's and the drive through liquor store... across the road from Pavillion in the Park!)  I see some after school special treats in our very near future.

Kelli makes awesome treats and amazing cakes and cookies -  this one was at a recent "Alice in Wonderland" party we attended for Nate's little partner in crime Olive.   She also made iced sugar cookies with the Angela Rogers Group logo (my office) for our 5 year anniversary party.  Really, if you have a wild and crazy idea you want to live out via delicious cakes or cookies, Kelli is your girl.

Here she is on The Book to the Face.

And  for all my local blogger partners in crime, it was lovely (to see you)! (Needed three more blogs to link there, eh?  Did I miss anyone?!)


focus on the happy

Dear Lord, you all.

I haven't been able to FOCUS at all.

I think, for the most part, I've just been ridiculously happy as of late and maybe a little part of me is afraid to say "Hey!  Look at me!  I'm happy!" because... well... I don't really know why.  Perhaps because several not-at-all-happy things happened in 2011?!  Perhaps because it's just hard for me to say that out loud?!  I know, I know, it's RIDICULOUS... but it's so UNLIKE me to not have a litany of complaints on the tip of my tongue.

(Not that I was unhappy before.  But, you know, I'm an over-analyzer.)

I've just got this crazy baby-fierce love thing going on right now with Nora Kate that blocks out a lot of my life's seemingly smaller problems.  I think it's A LOT because, after she came out, I had this weird "We're done having kids" feeling.   I know it sounds crazy but I do sort of feel like our little family unit is done.  Karl says that the baby is too young to make any permanent decisions (HA!  Since I was the one who originally wanted 5 kids and he was more the "we'll see after the first one" type.).  I'm definitely not completely ruling out future babies (of my own body or of the adoptive variety... I definitely can NOT fathom going through pregnancy and labor again.), but I do have a strong no-more feeling.

 So... I'm constantly thinking "This is the last time I'll ever have a baby this small" (I REALLY feel like it is!)  or "This is the last time I'll be getting up at night to nurse a baby." Three months in and I still  seriously look forward to our nighttime nursing sessions - she really only has one and I use it as my excuse to keep her in the bed with me.... because the co-sleeper that ATTACHES to our bed is apparently too far away.  (If you guys KNEW the musical beds that happened in our house you might be horrified.  What can I say?  We like sleeping with our kids.  And one day they won't want to sleep with us!)  

Basically, I want to be all selfish and soak her in and enjoy her and lay in bed with her all day.  I know I DID those things with Nate but, well, he was the first so we spent a lot more time concerned about things like IS HE BREATHING?!  or WHY IS HE BREATHING LIKE THAT?!?  Everything seemed a bit more stressful with him.  I can't decide if the difference is that NK is an easier baby or that I'm a more relaxed parent.   Or perhaps (and most likely) a little bit of both.    Plus, I think, with Nate, I KNEW we would be doing the whole baby thing again.  

And, really, if I could guarantee that all subsequent children would be as easy as NK, I might consider having, say, ten more?!  (Er... maybe just the one more.)

I mean, let's face it.  Karl and I make adorable babies.   


3 photos, 3 months