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

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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).

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

i want a vacation.

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A month after Christmas, two months until there is even a glimpse of spring. *sigh* Winter is long.

Also, I was amused by this particular sequence of pictures:

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"Just a little closer...I'd like to eat your face."

My life is otherwise uneventful.

Friday, January 26, 2007

what's cooler than bein' cool?

Ok, so everybody knows the obnoxious, headache- and car-crash-inducing Outkast song "Hey Ya". Turns out that the whole reason the song even exists is so Obediah Parker could make an acoustic cover of it. Listen here. It's pretty darn brilliant.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

on being pregnant for the very first time.

I bet that someday, I will post about something other than babies. But it will probably be awhile.
Anyway, a few days ago, I spent some time talking with my friend Jessica, who recently learned that she's pregnant, and it got me thinking back to almost a year ago when I was pregnant with Ambrose. *nostalgic sigh* I was such a basket case.

The day I found out I was pregnant, I was spending the afternoon at my parent's house. "Are you pregnant yet?!," my mom asked me. "No!," I told her, as always, "Stop asking me that!" " do you know?!" She whined like a three year old.
"I have a test, come on, just take it. Humor me!," she persisted.
"No, mom. That's a waste. You'll have grandbabies someday, I promise. But not now!"
A few moments later, she was handing me a pregnancy test that she had dug out of her bathroom closet. "Come on," she said. "Just take it."

So I did.

"See?," I said, showing her the single line, "No baby."
"Well, you haven't waited ten minutes yet, now have you?," she said, plunging her hands into a sink full of dishes. "Just listen to me."
I rolled my eyes and stuffed the strip in my pocket. Ten minutes later, I found the test, and tossed it in the trash can. But before walking away, I couldn't help but take a second glance...

And, as they say, the rest is history.

During the days that followed, I took probably 20 more pregnancy tests (thank goodness they sell them at the dollar store). Just to check. Just to make sure it was real. I collected them on the counter, in a sequence of earliest to most recent, just to see the line grow darker. (Until Matt finally said, "Erin, this is weird and creepy. You have to throw them away.") That was my proof, and I was in disbelief. I ached to hear my baby's heart beating, to feel him move, to have anything to convince me that it wasn't all a dream.

That day brought on a startling wave of new fears--ranging from completely neurotic to the most valid, real concern I have ever felt. You hate feeling sick, but worry when you don't feel sick, and when you start feeling sick again you wonder if it's all in your head and if something is really going horribly wrong. You wonder if you're eating enough protein, or are you eating too much? What if you get fat? Does it really matter anyway? You're aftraid to wear your pants too tight, because they might squish the baby (even though you know he's only 1/4 of an inch long). And you wonder why you're so moody. What if you stay that way? What if you turn out to be one of those moms who screams at her kids in the grocery store? Was that a cramp? What if something is wrong? Or is it all in your head? Am I crazy? What if I AM crazy? I can't have a baby if I'm crazy! This is a disaster!!!

My world just revolved around being pregnant, and it was a wonderful thing to be consumed with. I spent coutless hours on the internet (worrying), finding pictures of unborn babies (and worrying), researching what new organs my baby would get that week, scouring message boards and chatrooms in search of something, anything that would guarantee me that everything was okay (I was SO worried), to assure me that nothing could take this precious life away from me.
Because that was my brand-new, earth-shaking fear.
And it hasn't changed since.

Anyway, Jess, I hope you're feeling well...and if you're not, I hope you're finding comfort in being sick. And if that doesn't comfort you, at least you know you're not the only one who's felt the way you do.
Blessings to you and to your tiny little baby!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

hardly mine.

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This is one of the lovelier things I have read in a long time.

He is only mine for a fleeting moment, and even so, he just barely belongs to me, huh?

p.s. Two months old today!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

why I'm going to die of a heart attack, and you should too.

Reason # 1: I have single-handedly devoured two 9" x 13" chocolate cakes since last Wednesday. By myself. Recently, there's been remarks made about how "lucky I am" to not have to worry about my figure--believe me, it's not that I don't have to worry, it's that when I wake up in the morning, I'm just astounded that I don't weigh 700 lbs.

Reason #2: When I was pregnant and totally in love with pizza, I began a search for the perfect deep dish recipe. I've found it. And, since my baby took a nice nap this afternoon, I had time to make it for dinner. Anyway, this crust recipe (which is, by the way, the key to deep dish pizza) is so delicious (rivaling Gino's) that I thought I'd share it:

Perfect Pizza Crust
1 cup warm water with a touch of sugar
1 package of yeast
2 tbsp. cornmeal
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water with sugar. Let the yeast foam for a few minutes. Add remaining ingredients and knead for ten minutes if you have a Kitchen Aid. If you don't have a Kitchen Aid, knead till you're really sick of kneading (approximately 2 minutes). Put the dough in a greased bowl and let rise for at least one hour. When the dough has risen, gently deflate and roll out 3 inches larger than your pizza pan. Generously grease the pan with BUTTER, lay the crust in the pan, press up the sides, and trim the excess from the outer edge. Brush with butter and pre-bake the crust at 350 for 15 minutes, or until the crust is no longer soft in the center. When cooked, layer cheese, toppings, sauce. Bake for another 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is browned.

Friday, January 12, 2007

I share with you my most prized possession.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

on the gravity of prayer.

So, during the many, many (oh, so many) hours I spend nursing Ambrose every day, I've begun reading The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila.
She begins the book by discussing the effects of prayer on a person's soul-stating that prayer itself is the means through which we access our soul. It's interesting. I'll write more as I read more. But, what struck me today were these particular quotes on the seriousness of prayer. I so often grow lazy in daily prayer--only offering a request for one thing or another when it springs to mind, forgetting that we are called to be a prayerful people, that prayer is a serious command, and that we pray to a serious Creator. In this section, St. Teresa is discussing "hollow prayers" (i.e. rattling off the Our Father while mentally making your grocery list), but I think it applies equally to flippancy with any petition before Our Lord.

"If a person neither considers to Whom he is addressing himself, what he asks, nor what he is who ventures to speak to God, though his lips may utter many words, I do not call it prayer."

"The custom of speaking to God Almighty as freely as with a slave--caring nothing whether the words are suitable or not, but simply saying the first thing that comes to mind from being learnt by wrote or by frequent repetition--cannot be called prayer: God grant that no Christian may address Him in this manner."

On a less serious note:

(what?! you mean people really don't love to stare at my baby as much as I do?)

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Staring adoringly at the ceiling fan.

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Finally! I caught the real 'Magnum'.

more babies:-)

I am pleased to announce...

After being at least somewhat influenced by my post on birth control (sorry Jess, credit where credit's due, OKAY?!;-)...

My friend Jessica and her brand-new husband, Tim, are expecting their first baby in September.


Congratulations and blessings, guys. I'm so excited!

'Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand or a warrior are the sons of one's youth. Happy is the man whose quiver is full of them. He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.' Psalm 127:3-5

Sunday, January 07, 2007


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Friday, January 05, 2007

thoughts from a six-year-old girl on changing baby boy's diapers:

"It'd be a lot easier to wipe him if you got rid of that thing between his legs." -- (Aunt) Hope

I guess that's what you get for being raised in a family of six girls.