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

My life changing diapers

Now that I’m visibly pregnant, I get asked more and more often for a detailed plan of how many more children I’ll have and when I’ll be “done.” Much of the time, “Congratulations” is swiftly followed by one of the following questions: “So, is this the last one?” “How many more are you going to have?!” “When are you going to be done?” These are usually well-intended statements, expressed out of a concern for me. An old friend whose youngest just started kindergarten said... Read More

My answer to “Do you want more children?”

When people see me out and about with my four young children, one of the most common questions I get is, “Do you want more?” (Or, more accurately, “DO YOU WANT MORE?!?!?!?!“) I’m never sure what to say. “Yes” doesn’t sound quite right. Our fourth baby in four-and-a-half years is only eighteen months old, so I can’t say that I’ve spent a lot of time yearning for another baby lately. In fact, I’ve never really been a baby person. I’ve never had that moment other women talk about... Read More

How I went from lifelong atheism to orthodox Catholicism (Audio)

My story + 7 lessons I learned about conversion Thursday night I was honored to be asked to share my conversion story with the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) group at St. Elizabeth’s parish here in central Texas. I wanted listeners to be able to take something away that they could apply to their own lives, so I wove in seven lessons I learned about the conversion process. Click here to view the handout I gave to attendees (PDF). It includes a list of my seven lessons, as well as a page of recommended reading. You can listen... Read More

Why my life is better since becoming open to life

“You guys aren’t really going to have any more after this one, right?” a few people have asked me privately. “We thought about having another, but the sleepless nights, the diapers, the pregnancy and birth — ugh! Aren’t you just so ready to be done with all that?” a neighbor asked at the playground last week. “I do not envy you,” a lady at the grocery store said solemnly as I passed by with a cart full of three kids under five and a hugely pregnant belly. Whenever people say things like this,... Read More

How I became pro-life

Who is human? Back in college I remember reading about how in certain societies throughout history (I believe in this case it was the Greeks) it was common for parents to abandon unwanted newborns, leaving them somewhere to die. It was so deeply troubling to me, and I could never figure out what was going on there: how on earth could this have happened?! I mean, I knew lots of people, and nobody I knew would do that! In fact, in our society you only hear about it in rare cases of people who are obviously mentally disturbed. How could something so... Read More

“What will I tell my gay friends?”

Back in what I suppose you could call “Phase I” of my conversion, when I had been looking into Christianity for a while and, to my great surprise, found it more and more compelling, there was one concern that weighed heavily on my mind: what would this mean for my relationships with my gay friends? Three of my husband and my very dearest friends and many of our acquaintances are gay, and live gay lifestyles. And though I didn’t know many of the details, I knew enough about Christianity to be pretty sure that if I were to become... Read More

Contraception and a woman’s self-image

On the rare occasions that I used to think about the prospect of having a large family before my conversion, one of the first things that would come to mind is, “Just think of what my abs would look like! And years and years of nursing babies wouldn’t exactly leave me looking like a Victoria’s Secret model!” and with a shudder I’d perish the thought. There were other reasons that the prospect of having many children didn’t appeal to me. But the issue of what my body would start to look like somewhere around baby... Read More