Oh Say Can You See
Her Little Ways
by Valerie
1w ago
Tuesday night, Benjamin was given the privilege and honor of being part of the Olathe West Public Safety Honor Guard presenting the colors for the Royals vs. Brewers baseball game.   I am so proud of him. He carried that American flag with such reverence! Luke, little brother, went with me to the game.   His middle school choir sang The National Anthem.  They sounded terrific! The Royals ended up losing to the Brewers that night,  but the evening was still a "hit" in our books ..read more
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National Widows Day: May 3
Her Little Ways
by Valerie
2w ago
LOVE this precious picture of Chris and the kids. "You never know what you have until it's gone." ~Joni Mitchell~ This is the last candid shot of Chris and the kids at Mary's theater debut at Olathe West High School  as a Freshman.   This was taken in November of 2019. Two months later, this man, larger than life, would be gone suddenly and unexpectedly. These two family pics are like glitter bombs...the explosion is over, but the glitter is EVERYWHERE.   Ironically, today, May 3, is National Widows Day and these photos popped up as a memory for Luke ..read more
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Luke the Baseball Lover
Her Little Ways
by Valerie
2w ago
"Worrying about things you can't control is a waste both on the baseball field and in life." ~Stephen King~ This kid is my favorite 1st Baseman and Right Fielder!     And this year, his "at bat" is doing pretty good too.   Although he likes to correct me on technicality (I didn't get a hit because I didn't get to base.), moms don't really care.  :) The season is young and Luke is already connecting with the ball.   A new league and team has renewed his love for the sport!  He was ready to walk away forever and I just wasn't rea ..read more
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A Piece of My Heart
Her Little Ways
by Valerie
3w ago
LOOK AT THIS HANDSOME KID!!! Photography Class Portrait Practice Can y'all believe that's my little toddler?!?!  He was just 18-months old when I first started blogging.  Today he is 17 years old.  Six months shy of turning 18...and soon becoming a SENIOR in high school!  I'm not ready!!!!   Photography Class Portrait Practice Benjamin is such an amazing kid.  My "middle child" that often gets lost in the shuffle of his "super star" older sister and "baller" younger brother who is involved in just about every sport locally availabl ..read more
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Online Dating: A Cautionary Tale
Her Little Ways
by Valerie
3w ago
Can we talk about online dating for just a minute????   For those of us old enough to remember "old school" dating (i.e. meeting a cute boy from the all-boys school at Catholic Youth Group, to feeling "chemistry" with your lab partner in...well...college chem class...to being set up on a blind date with your husband post-college...) neither I nor any of my girlfriends seemed to have had a problem meeting kind, intelligent, men-of-character. But fast-forward 30+ years...and many of us find ourselves single either by divorce or widowhood...and dating is a "whole thing"...and it's n ..read more
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Grappling with Shame
Her Little Ways
by Valerie
1M ago
As I wrap on this series of journal entries on my experience with betrayal trauma, I wanted to jot down a few thoughts about shame.  These thoughts are best expressed via memes and bits of conversation shared between my grief therapist and me. Yesterday's session was very raw and emotional.  After a solid month of feeling strong and resilient, questions surrounding how to move forward brought up my struggle with shame and guilt surrounding being conned. THERAPIST:  "Can you tell me, Valerie, why are you experiencing such despair?  Tell me what you are feeling." ME ..read more
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Easter Sunday: A Light in the Darkness
Her Little Ways
by Valerie
1M ago
Easter weekend saved my life...literally and figuratively. My parents insisted that Luke and I come home for Easter.  My older two children had different plans for the holiday weekend.  I didn't want to make the trip to St. Louis.  At all.   After weeks of crying, barely eating, and experiencing confused sleep cycles, I didn't think I had it in me to physically make the 4-hour drive home.  All I wanted to do was curl up in a ball, lick my wounds, and sleep.  But even worse, I didn't want to look my parents or siblings (especially my father) in the eye ..read more
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Hope in the Darkness
Her Little Ways
by Valerie
1M ago
The Triduum:  Holy Saturday A Prayer for Holy Saturday The most dominant emotion in our modern society is fear. We are afraid of losing the things we have worked hard to buy, afraid of rejection and failure, afraid of certain types of people, afraid of criticism, of suffering and heartache, of change, afraid to tell people how we really feel. What was the dominant emotion of Jesus’ followers on Holy Saturday? Fear. Fear that they had been misled. Fear that God didn’t have a plan. Fear that God had forgotten them. We all have fears, too. And sometimes, we let those fears paralyze u ..read more
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Good Friday: The Way of the Cross
Her Little Ways
by Valerie
1M ago
The Triduum:  Good Friday "There is no path to happiness in this life unless you can make sense of suffering, and Christianity is the only religion or philosophy that understands the transformative value of suffering. While the whole world is doing everything it can to avoid and drown out their pain and suffering, we are reminded each Sunday at Mass that our pain and suffering have tremendous value when united to the pain and suffering of Jesus on the Cross. Separated from Jesus, our pain and suffering become meaningless, and that is why life is so depressing for so many in a world th ..read more
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When You Have the "Lentiest" of Lents
Her Little Ways
by Valerie
1M ago
The Triduum:  Holy Thursday (The Betrayal) I stumbled upon this most beautiful Catholic prayer written by a fellow blogger...I think it should be titled, "When You Experience the Lentiest of Lents!"  My children, family/in-laws, and closest friends have been walking by my side since Ash Wednesday (ironic no?!) as I navigate a betrayal so deep I have been forever changed. Katie Cassidy prays: Loving God, this trudge toward Easter has been long and the sustenance meager. I find myself coming to you with empty hands and aching arms, from the effort of carrying a cross I did not choo ..read more
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