Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in spirit, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:3-12

Oh Lord,

Teach me to seek You and reveal yourself to me when I seek You.

For I cannot seek You unless You first teach me, nor find You unless You first reveal yourself to me.

Let me seek You in longing, and long for You in seeking.

Let me find You in love, and love You in finding.

~Saint Ambrose of Milan

<< # St. Blog's Parish ? >>

Name: Erin Yonke

Location: Aurora, IL

Info: I'm happily married to my husband and champion pro-life activist, Matt. I stay home with my three small boys; Ambrose (11/06), Peter (3/08), and Joseph (9/10).

Saturday, December 30, 2006

a few notes.

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Ambrose started smiling last week:-) However, I haven't been able to really catch one of these beauties on camera, except for this, where his eyes are closed. Also, he kind of looks like he's about to sneeze:

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He went to the doctor yesterday, and weighs 8 lbs. 9 oz.

ALSO, he's getting baptized next Saturday, and CHECK OUT this baptism gown I found:

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I was super excited, because, after finding out that my great-great-grandmother's baptism gown had finally given out and was no longer available for family use, I've been hunting for a non-girly gown, and growing increasingly frustrated. Apparently christening gowns for boys are out anymore. Anyway, for anyone interested, the baptism is on Saturday, January 6 at 9am at St. George's Byzantine Catholic Church in Aurora.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Okay, you know the drill. State six weird things about yourself, choose six more victims. In my case, I'm only choosing one, because everyone else I know with a blog has already done this.

1. I have served in every office, including (but not limited to) vice president and president of, you guessed it, my 4-H club. (oh! nerdy!)

2. Despite my strong distaste for small, rodent-like creatures, I once owned and cared for a very expensive, high-maintenance angora rabbit.

3. I am a beauty school drop-out, I've never held a full-time job, and I was just two months shy of being a teenage mother.

4. I bought my wedding dress new on ebay for $50, and it fit nearly perfectly.

5. I sang in the Northern Illinois Children's Chorus from age 8 to age 18. Our director had perfect pitch--so perfect that he could instantly match a piano chord to the train whistle outside. I guess that's not really about me, but it's way more interesting than anything I can do.

6. If I ever had the time and resources, I'd go to culinary school in a heartbeat.

I tag:


Thursday, December 21, 2006

small victories.

I am showered and dressed.

My baby is fed, changed, happy, and sleeping.

My bed is made.

My floors have been swept, vacuumed, AND mopped.

My living room has been dusted.

My laundry has been washed AND dried AND folded AND put away.

My bathrooms smell pleasantly of clorox (except the bathtub, which desperately needs to be scrubbed. ewww...don't tell!).

My Christmas presents are all purchased, and almost all wrapped.

I'm having company for dinner, and it is simmering on the stove.

I bought this infant carrier, though I was doubtful that I'd actually be happy with it, since everyone says Baby Bjorn is the way to go. Ambrose seems to love it. And, you know what? Even if he hates it tomorrow, it was worth $20 to get my house clean AND not have him be lonely or crying while I did it.


I feel triumphant.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

a beautiful thing, and things I didn't expect

First, Matt bought a cd of Byzantine Hymns from the Great Feasts at church on Sunday, and as we were listening to it, I was really struck by the beauty of the words of this hymn for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross:

"The Cross is the guardian of the whole earth; the Cross is the beauty of the Church. The Cross is the strength of kings; the Cross is the support of the faithful. The cross is the glory of angels and the wonder of demons.
Today the Cross is exalted and the world is sanctified. For Thou who art enthroned with the Father and the Holy Spirit hast spread Thine arms upon it, and drawn the world to knowledge of Thee, O Christ. Make worthy of divine glory those that have put their trust in Thee."

Maybe what struck me most is the picture of the Cross as our Guardian...very cool.

Second, I've been trying to write some/think some about all the changes that have taken place in my life over the last three weeks. To be totally honest, I'm surprised at how difficult it's been. It seems like every time I try to write something, I get all choked up and nothing comes out quite the way I want it to--I really didn't expect that.
So, what I have managed to do is make a list of things I didn't expect about giving birth and having a baby, and am continually adding to it. It's quite extensive, really. Anyway, here's a few for you to laugh (or cry, which is what I did) at:

1. I didn't expect to feel so hollowed out and so full all at once. After nine months of the Holy Spirit crafting a brand-new person inside you day and night, I think it's only natural to feel a little bit empty when it suddenly stops. But I didn't expect to need to be close to my baby as much as I do, and I didn't expect that my body would ache for him so much. It's certainly not a feeling of "loss", but it is kind of a lonely feeling to not have him so close to me anymore. Luckily, (2) nursing is perfectly designed for this, since newborns eat more than a grown man--and is perhaps my most unexpected delight (thanks to my friends Renee and Denise, who were kind enough to get us latched on...literally. You guys are so, so awesome! I can't thank you enough!). There is, without a doubt, no greater joy in the world than to give life to a child--and to continually offer your body to them to give them life. It's incredibly beautiful, and produces the most powerful emotions you'll ever feel.
3. I didn't expect to love him so fiercely. The pains of labor are so intense, so overpowering--and you know, they don't stop after the birth, they just move from your womb to your heart. I didn't expect that. Maybe I just truly underestimated the love of a mother for her children. It truly does turn you into a life-giving machine, you know? Another dirty diaper, another midnight awakening--all the demands just kind of fade into the background, because I'd gladly give him so much more if I could.
4. I didn't expect to be slightly disappointed at fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes a week after he was born. Not disappointed in the sense that I wish it wasn't so, I guess, and I say this at the risk of receiving lots of hate e-mail--but, birth is such a HUGE moment, such a beautiful thing, and without a doubt the most life-altering event's almost a little bit offensive to my soul that my body healed so quickly--it doesn't even seem to remember it, while the rest of me is still reeling from the wonder of it all, and just trying to catch up. I think I'd feel better if I had some war wounds, or something...:-)

Anyway, that's all for now.

my dumb new mom stories.

For a laugh, I figure.

First of all, I should explain that we live in an apartment building. The main entrance is always open, but to actually get onto your floor, you have to have a key.

Anyway, on Tuesday afternoon, we received a UPS package. I had just laid Ambrose down when the UPS man buzzed our unit. I heard the baby start to fuss as soon as I opened our apartment door, but figured that I'd just go sign for the delivery so the man didn't have to wait. I opened the door to our floor, expecting to see a nice man in a brown jumpsuit...but no one was there. So, I went up the stairs...and suddenly realized that the door that I need a key to open has just shut and locked behind me. Oh crap, my baby's inside and crying. Total panic. Ok, I think, the man that lives down the hall from us is usually home sometime during the day, I'll just buzz his apartment and get him to let me back in. A quick glance at the parking lot, and I noticed that his car was absent from his parking spot.
Now, we also have a sliding patio door that we sometimes use to get in and out of our apartment. Unfortunately, it's very drafty and last week we covered it with plastic and sealed it off for the winter. In my desperation, I ran outside to try it. It didn't budge. Just then, I noticed a woman in the parking lot, heading to her car and, thankfully, lugging her own infant carseat. "Excuse me, could I use your cell phone really quick?," I am sure that I looked like a total lunatic, running through the mud and snow in stocking feet, and this lady stared accordingly. "My phone?" "Yeah-I went outside without my keys, and I left my baby inside. He's crying." I think she was trying not to laugh. She handed me her phone and I quickly called Matt, explaining what I had done and that I needed him to come home and let me inside immediately. "I don't have my keys," he said, "They're inside." So, then I was sure the world was ending, that I had failed miserably as a mother, and that I would just have to sit down right there in the snow and cry for the rest of my life when he said, "Why don't you just go in the patio door?" "I can't!," I wailed, "It's LOCKED!!!!" "Erin, that door doesn't lock." "It doesn't?" I was both horrified and extremely relieved at once.
So, I ran back down to the patio door, and pulled. It still didn't move. It was frozen , but not locked, and eventually opened. I tore through the plastic seal like a mad woman, and rushed to Ambrose's cradle to find him sleeping quite peacefully. I realized that I'd been gone for a whopping 3 minutes.

Also, yesterday I went to a seminar for stay-at-home moms with my Mom (which I think was actually just a vehicle for Grandma to show off her new grandson to all her friends...). So, everyone was quite excited and cooing over such a tiny baby, who was content and sleeping in his carseat (and I had every intention to let him keep doing so, so I could get my money's worth out of this thing...) Anyway, just minutes before the speaker started speaking, my mom's friend says, "Well, cantcha take him out?" I hesitated, but crumbled under the pressure of eight different sets of eyes looking at me expectantly, and I unbundled him.
Needless to say, Ambrose was then wide awake for the better part of the seminar, and very unhappy about being woken up, so I spent almost the entire time walking the hallway with him.
Afterwards, my mom says to me, "Erin, don't you know? Anytime anyone asks you to wake up your sleeping child for no good reason, the answer is 'no'!"
No kidding.

And, as always, lookatmybaby! lookatmybaby! heissocute!!!! (Also, for those of you who watch The Office, Ambrose has got the Stanley impression down pat. He'll raise his eyebrows really high and blink really slow....and I can imagine him saying, "I do not think that. is. funny." Oh well, it's probably only funny to me, huh?)

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

the most beautiful moments in life...

I know, I know...I am officially the dorky new mom that posts lots of pictures on her blog that only she really cares about.

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

playing house

I love snow!!! I was remembering yesterday how, when we'd get the first big snow of the year, my mom would let us take the day *mostly* off of school to play outside. She always did this thing where she'd fill up old syrup bottles with water and food coloring, and let us take them out to "write" on the snow. Man, that was the best.
I was telling Matt that this past week could probably be compared to a honeymoon, in a sense...getting snowed in, putting on some Christmas music and holding my baby all day. I love it:-) I'm hoping to get a Christmas tree this weekend, too, to add to the feeling of "playing house." (Though, Matt's swamped at work right now, so sometimes it feels like playing "single mom"...*sigh* oh well. Speaking of which, I could use some *light* reading material, if anyone has any recommendations, let me know.)
Anyway, Ambrose has been SUCH a good baby. Someone told me once that if humans continued to grow at the rate they do during the first 6 weeks of life, they would be the size of the sun by age 40. I believe it. I feel like he's already changing so much, even in the past week. He resembles Matt more every day.

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So, as a side note, my pre-pregnancy weight found me this week, and I dug out my pre-pregnancy jeans this morning. I'm delighted to announce that they fit! However, low-rise-hipster-flares are not NEARLY as attractive after carrying a human being between my hips for nine months. I'll never wear them again...but they do fit! :-)