Human Life

On planning babies: Jen from seven years ago talks with Simcha Fisher

simcha-fisher

Seven years ago, I found myself in a place of great upheaval. I was in the middle of a profound religious conversion and found myself in a no-man’s land, adrift from my old belief system, yet not fully integrated into my new one. Around that time that I came across a small blog by this woman named Simcha. She was a brilliant, hilarious writer on par with the famous names of the secular world…yet she was religious, describing herself as a Hebrew Catholic since she comes from a family of Jewish coverts to Catholicism. Reading her blog... Read More

Never say never, and other thoughts on having more kids

Some folks have asked if my doctors are putting pressure on me not to have more children. I usually respond with a sound like hoooooo-ho-ho-hooooo (which is not supposed to be a sound like what Santa says, but rather a hearty laugh to indicate, YOU HAVE NO IDEA). The doctors have said this before, when I was diagnosed with the clotting disorder after getting a deep vein thrombosis during my second pregnancy, but, luckily for my third, fourth, fifth, and sixth children, I knew that they weren’t that serious when they said, “You seriously... Read More

A few thoughts on my birthday

Today is my birthday. I turn 36. Not only have I now passed the halfway point of my thirties, but it’s a brand new year, I just had a brush with a medical condition that is often fatal, and my whole life has been turned upside down by my recovery. So, as you can see, I have no choice but to write a long and reflective blog post that opines about the meaning of life today. It’s a lot of pressure, really. I was lying in bed yesterday, mentally writing my post about all the Important Things I’ve taken away from this situation, and... Read More

The least of these

As many of you probably already know, the Dobrovits family lost their special little boy named Henry last week. The story of his short two years on earth, and of how he ended up in their family, is an amazing one that needs to be shared. I had the honor of meeting Henry’s mother, Carla, at the Behold Conference both in 2011 and this year, and was profoundly impacted by the story of her discernment to adopt, and the journey they’ve been on since then. I’m glad Carla has been keeping a blog the whole time, so I can let her tell you... Read More

The good life

This week Joe and I celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary. What we were doing around this time in 2003. We also found out recently that we’re expecting baby number six! (For those of you who need a refresher, we have an eight-year-old boy, and four girls ages 6, 5, 3, and 15 months.) We’re so busy and tired, I’m not sure if we’ll even do anything to celebrate. Between homeschooling, dance class, soccer, scouts, general chaos management and me feeling astoundingly exhausted and vaguely sick all the time, I think that what... Read More

Johnny Cash’s empire of dirt and the truths that make us human

The other day I was in great need of some inspiration, and I found it in the most unlikely of places: the video for Johnny Cash’s cover of the Nine Inch Nails song Hurt. I know. When someone says “Johnny Cash” and “Nine Inch Nails” in the same sentence, combined with references to songs that talk about someone cutting himself and lamenting his “empire of dirt,” you don’t immediately think: INSPIRING! But it was. And I spent all weekend wondering why. This happens fairly regularly: A book or a video... Read More

Museum life

Back in July of 2006 I wrote a post marveling at a family friend who always managed to be cheerful and loving, even though she worked five times as hard as I did and had significant problems in her life. I didn’t have a take in the post; I just relayed the story, and promised at the end that I would write a Part 2 with further thoughts. I have never forgotten that I didn’t write that second post. By Grabthar’s Hammer, when I say that I will write a follow-up to a post, I SHALL DO IT! …Sometimes it just takes me six years... Read More

A conversation with my gay friend

The other day we got together with a friend of mine from high school named Andrew*, and his boyfriend, Tom. They moved out of state earlier this year, but a business trip brought him and Tom back through town recently, and we jumped at the chance to go out to dinner with them. This was one of the first times in a long while that we’d had a chance to sit down and talk with them, just the four of us. We caught up on life and work, Andrew and I clicking as well as we always have. I wore waterproof mascara because I knew I’d end up laughing... Read More

Contraception: The discussion has finally begun

There’s an article out in the Washington Post this week that’s been getting a lot of buzz, titled Young Catholic women try to modernize the message on birth control. In it, Post writer Michelle Boorstein explores the issue of how modern Catholic women perceive Natural Family Planning, and highlights some voices that say that NFP could use some “rebranding,” so to speak. As it turns out, I am one of those voices! I was reading the article, and came across this paragraph: The new movement’s goal is to make over the image... Read More

Observations from the Walk for Life

I’m excited to report that I was able to make it to the West Coast Walk for Life while I was in San Francisco this weekend. I came really close to confining myself to the comfort of my hotel, but I’m so glad I went. Some pictures and observations: I’ve never seen so many people in one place. I couldn’t make a rough estimate of how many people were there, because I could never see them all at once. Even when I found higher ground, the crowd stretched over one horizon to another. This video is the closest I could come to capturing... Read More

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