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).

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

someone snapped this picture of ambrose... the rally last Saturday at the Planned Parenthood. For those of you who don't know, the largest abortion clinic in the country opened this month 10 miles from our house, in spite of a bunch of very shady legal (illegal) maneuvering. Read more about our fight against it here.
Cute picture, though.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

this is something I have agonized over.

If you know me well, it will probably come as no surprise to you that I would agonize over something very trivial. I'm very good at it.
But anyway, over the last few months, I've been completely on the fence about finding out the gender of this baby before he or she is born.

When I was pregnant with Ambrose, I was totally opposed to finding out. I loved, craved, and savored the surprise, and if I had to do it over, I wouldn't do it any other way. His birth was beautiful, and I will never forget the moment that I learned that he was, in fact, a HE. There are so few good surprises in life, that being one of them.

Generally speaking, I think it's genuinely better to wait until the baby is born to find out. I think learning an unborn baby's sex is oftentimes just another way that modern medicine strips pregnancy and birth of their natural mystery and beauty--it's another of the many modern interventions that make women feel as though they don't know "how" to be pregnant or give birth without ultrasounds or pitocin or epidurals or narcotics or a measuring tape. It's a bunch of bologna, and I try to steer clear of that mindset as much as I can.
That said, I also think it can be really boring. Sometimes we get birth announcements in the mail and I find myself thinking, "Okay, we already knew it was a boy, we already knew his name, and we already knew the date of your planned induction. So, uh, thanks for letting us know that your baby weighed 7lbs, 10oz!" I'm not saying it's a nice thing to think, or that it makes the baby itself any less amazing, I'm just saying that I think it's awfully dull. And very trendy.

But there are other factors involved. Between the bizarre illnesses and ailments and infections this pregnancy has provided, the recent change in jobs, insurance, and care providers, and now the prospect of moving and trying to sell our house in a not-so-hot market, not knowing anything about this baby started to feel like just one more thing that I couldn't prepare for--it felt daunting, not exciting-- and I didn't want to spend the next few months feeling that way. I eventually decided that it was more important to me to be excited about the pregnancy and birth of this new person than to hold to some theoretical ideal. With Ambrose, it was more important to me to have one, huge explosive moment of surprise at the birth. This time, I'm going to need a slow, steady drip of happiness, and I'm OK with that. In fact, I couldn't be happier. I think with another baby, I'd love to go the surprise route again. I really loved it. But today, I had an ultrasound, and I found out. I'm thrilled to death! And on the way home, I bought this. :-) :

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A sweet conversation...

Today, over lunch at my parent's house, my younger sisters were having a discussion about babies.
Alea, who's 8, announced, "I saw a commercial on TV for a medicine that will make it so you can't have a baby for five years."
The other little girls looked astonished. Hope (6) was having a hard time understanding why anyone would want to go such a long time without a baby. "Why?!," she asked, assuming that her older sister would be able to explain. Alea shrugged. "Some people don't like babies," she said. Emma (4) was quietly thinking about this for a minute and then said, "But I won't do that. Mom didn't. She loved all her babies." "Yeah, me either." chimed the other two, and proceeded to eat their lunch.

The whole thing really just warmed my heart. These little girls are still so untouched by the world and so naturally see new life as good. I hope they never lose that.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A new journey...

So, this upcoming Monday, Matt will begin a new job as the Assistant Communications Director of The ProLife Action League in Aurora, IL--quite a change from being an electrician. We're thrilled and a little anxious, and looking to move soon to be closer to his work.
We (ok, he, but I get included by default) will officially be professional pro-life activists, and that's awesome.
As a total side-note...this job will also mean a change in insurance, and (though not definite yet!) that will quite possibly mean that we'll be able to have a much-desired home birth--which is almost equally thrilling, for me.

a first for everything...

Ambrose has his very first stomach flu. Poor guy. He feels just terrible.
Something I forgot from my childhood, though, is that babies don't give any warning before they vomit. Sometimes it seems to not phase them at all. They just let it all out, wherever, on whatever or whoever is nearby. They also don't apologize, offer to help clean up, or kindly wait patiently while you do. When you manage to get a bucket handy when it's needed, they try to stick their hands in it.

Anyway, it's awfully sad to see your babe so sick. Here's to hoping he feels better soon.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

oh, would you just LOOK at these!!!?!

Paula just opened a new shop! I am in *love* with her alpha-birdy-bet letters. Soooo cute. In the process of wooing husband into purchase. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

on the menu tonight...

A few times a year, I indulge. I love this jambalaya recipe. It's from my mother in law, and it's the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. Oh, so good.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pound smoked sausage
1 C. chopped onions
1 C. chopped celery
1 T. minced garlic
2 C. rice
5 C. chicken stock
1 C. sliced carrots
1 pint tomato sauce
3/4 C. brown sugar
Tabasco or cayenne to taste...we use cayenne, mostly because we'd use an entire bottle of tabasco on one pot of this.
1 t. paprika
salt & pepper

Season chicken with salt and pepper, brown with garlic. remove to large cooking pot. Saute onions and celery, remove to pot. Melt brown sugar in fry pan. Add sausage and brown. Remove to pot. Add rice, carrots, tomato sauce, paprika, cayenne (or tabasco), salt and pepper to pot and cover with chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until rice is cooked, approx. 30 minutes.

I meant to post a picture, but forgot to do it before it was all cleaned up and put in the fridge. You'll have to use your imagination this time, folks.

Also, Ambrose started saying "all done" today. Usually only after I say it (i.e., when he's done eating, getting a diaper change, getting out of the bath), but I'm pretty sure he knows what it means. It comes out as a very sweet "uh-DUN". So cute.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

well, we can at least pretend it's fall...

Even though it's like, 89 degrees outside! I'm pretty sure it just feels hotter than it really is because it's October, and every Chicagoan's mental thermometer is saying "too hot!!!! tooooooo hot!!!!!!! It should be 60!!!!!!".
But, in spite of the record-high temps for this time of year, we went to the pumpkin patch this past week with my mom and sisters.

The Aunties:

Emma, with her pumpkin.
Hope, still in search of the perfect find.

And Sari on the hayride.

And my super-cute sister Kyla. Ambrose loves her. So do I. I seem to be missing one sister, though. Oops.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

why you shouldn't let your baby play with the cell phone...

No, he didn't break it. However, after I broke down and let him play with it on the drive home from a family birthday party tonight, he did manage to both unlock the keypad AND dial 9-1-1. He got a call from the Aurora Police Department a few moments later, which went unanswered, and then another, when I finally finagled the phone away from him in time to answer it. It was a woman from the police department, stating that they'd just received an emergency call from this number, and that it sounded like there was a struggle. And I'm sure it did, considering that he was chewing on and bashing the phone all over the place. She spoke with Matt and I both to make sure everything was OK, and we assured her that we were absolutely fine, albeit a little embarrassed.

How my 10-month old managed that, I'll never know.

rockin' and rollin'...

I've been feeling the baby move every day this week--a lot. It's officially one of the coolest feelings in the world.

Monday, October 01, 2007

huh. it was right.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

North Central

The Midland

The West


The Northeast


The South

What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

And yes, when I say "bag", it rhymes with "vague", not with "rag". This makes Matt f-r-e-a-k out every time.