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We met over 8 years ago at church as Shaun was walking in and I was walking out. The few words exchanged sparked an interst that kept Shaun coming back. When we FINALLY began dating 4 years later we soon knew there was something special here. Our first year quickly flew by and we both decided we never wanted to spend another year with anyone else or without each other. We married in the place where it all began on January 1, 2011 (1/1/11) and gave birth to our beautiful daughter Ava Marie on September 22, 2011 our next little one, Clara Rose came 16 months later on February 11, 2013. This blog began with our preparation with our wedding and has entered into recording the days and events of our newlywed life and new motherhood.

The Happy Couple...

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Ava Marie

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Clara Rose

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

When a Priest comes to dinner! ...or TWO!

Yesterday, a priest friend of ours was back in town and called in the late afternoon/early evening to surprise us and ask if he could stop by that evening for dinner.  I was out running an errand and although I was so happy to hear from him, my mind was distracted by the picture of an empty refridgerator (what will I feed him?) and the image of a livingroom floor and dining room table FULL of paperwork (I've been looking for an important paper for my taxes and had an "ADD" moment when I decided to sort through ALL the papers I've been meaning to for some time.  I was in "mid-sort" when I headed out to run a few errands.  The house was "A MESS!"  Though happy to hear from him, I'm at first tempted to think up some excuse.

"SUUuuuuure you can come for dinner!  We'd love that!  In fact, I'll invite my Mom!" 

I'm tempted to forgo daily Mass (which I was trying to attend during Lent) as this would leave me exactly 15 minutes to prepare before everyone shows up, but go to Mass anyway (and while there invite my Pastor to dinner as well.  Might as well!)  *note:  BOY am I glad I chose to go to Mass.  Totally worth any embarrassment of a messy house*

When a priest comes it's sort of like Jesus is coming to dinner for me.  This moment of reflecting on my house not being ready was a great meditation on how Jesus could come at ANY time... would we be ready?  I couldn't help but think of this as I was cleaning up and running through the grocery store to pick up something for dinner.  I didn't want to feel as if I wasn't ready to welcome him at any time to come and enter in and join me and my family (expected or not).

What a good meditation this spur of the moment visit was.  "You do not know the day or the hour that the Son of Man will come"  It really got me in the Lenten "mood".

In the end, we had a great evening with lots of smiles, warm conversation and a great dinner of fresh wild haddock (whenever you're in a rush, fish is quick!) with stuffed topping, broccoli crowns, summer squash (prepared the day before), and Jasmine rice!  My mom brought crepe suzettes with strawberry topping that she just "happened" to have made (she's always cooking something awesome), YUM! and all ended well!

 Ava was SO over-tired that she did NOT stop talking (but she wouldn't go to sleep because she didn't want to miss anything)!  Here she is with Nana telling her a story.  She eventually went down an hour early.  The night proved too exciting for her.

 Ava meets Fr. Jeff!

 Ava's a bit more interested in her feet than anything right now.
 She LOVES Fr. Conrad!
 Some great conversation (and a messy table that didn't quite make it before guests arrived... oh well).


  1. OH, you are so blessed to have priest friends!!!

    I so wish we did.

    Our priests are in a cluster parish, 3 pretty large parishes and they are run ragged. They barely have time to eat. (we have 2 priests)

    What a gift.

    1. We ARE blessed! I'm so glad Ava gets to be raised around good priests. I'm truly aware of what a gift this is.

      I always laugh inwardly and think "really? You want to come to OUR house? You sure?"

      Either way we need to be a support to our priests. First with prayer! Then with whatever else they need.

  2. Coming over from Jamie's blog. You have a beautiful family & blog.

    We have had our priest over for dinner. The kids really loved having him here. They kept him busy!

    We haven't had him over since...we are also a part of a cluster of three churches and I always feel like he's too busy.

    How blessed you are to have priest friends and wow....what a nice meal on the spot. I probably would have made spaghetti!

    1. Oh! Thanks for visiting! I love Jamie's blog. Found it from Colleen's "Martin Family Moments" Colleen & I are old pals. I taught her children.

      I am truly blessed.

      I think that good married families are just as important in forming good priests as priests are important in supporting good marriages and the vocations of children. We are all interconnected as a family of God and need to support each other in love. Besides... when priests are away from their families, we can be like "surrogate families" for them.

      Spaghetti! What a good idea! I actually owe my pastor a lasagna dinner.

  3. I've always thought that, within reason of course, a messy house is a sign of a happy, lived in, home. Growing up, there was a priest, a monk actually, who came to dinner at least once a week. Fr. Howard was the best! And mom never said no either. Now, It's Sunday dinner at my sister's with Fr. Forte, and it's the same deal: never say no when a priest wants to come for dinner. :) God bless you and here's hoping you find your paper!

    1. See, now I agree, Bridget! The funny thing is that they're men and probably don't even notice the mess! When Fr. Conrad came in he was like, "What mess?" my Mom was helping me pick up piles of paper off of the floor. Gotta love it!

      Even as a teacher my ongoing motto was "people before papers" and I tried to remember that the needs of the children and their utmost need to be safe and feel loved was more important than any paper I ever had to correct or filing I had to do. The parents never minded my messy desk as they saw their children come running in everyday full of smiles into a very happy teacher's arms. People first.

      Now that I'm home with Ava I am always torn with "do I put her down to do the dishes now that she's sleeping... or do I hold her a little longer and fix this moment in my memory and though she won't remember it, I'm planting the seeds of love and comfort and safety in her little heart."

      I'm grateful for a loving husband who always looks for everything "good" I'm doing to comment on and never ever makes me feel as though I'm not doing enough. He's the best.

      My husband, Shaun has pictures as a small boy with priests his family was friends with while he was growing up. One is a photo of him around 6 or 7 years old sitting with Fr. Mahoney. Now Fr. Mahoney is in his late 80's and still great friends with his Father. When we were first dating we joined FR. Mahoney for a Mass (in which he asked me to sing spur of the moment) and lunch. The following day, Fr. Mahoney called his FAther and Shaun's Dad called his son to relay the good Father's message. He said "You call your son and tell him that if ever two people were meant for each other, it's THOSE TWO! You tell Shaun to MARRY that girl! Do you hear me? MARRY THAT GIRL!!!" ...I've always had a special place in my heart for Fr. Mahoney ;)


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