Monday, June 29, 2009

Just plain cool


As you may know, today (June 29) was the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, one of my favorite feast days of the liturgical year. Because of the close association of these two apostles, and their martyrdom in Rome, Sts. Peter and Paul have always shared a feast day going all the way back to at least the year 258 A.D. (and that's only because it's the earliest Roman calendar of the martyrs that has been found). It took some research for me to find that out, as I've always wondered why these great apostles did not have their own feast days. You can't argue with hundreds and hundreds of years of Church history!

Anyway, last Sunday marked the end of the Church's "Year of Saint Paul," and in case you missed it, Pope Benedict made a stunning announcement in his homily. The Holy Father closed the Year of Saint Paul by celebrating mass at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome (image at left), one of the four major (or "Papal") basilicas of Rome. Side note: Molly and I had the great experience of visiting this basilica when we went to Rome in 2000 as chaperones for a parish youth group trip for World Youth Day. (I wanted to dig up some pics for this post, but unfortunately I think those are packed :-) Anyway, the basilicas of Rome aren't located where they are, respectively, for no reason; just like the Basilica of St. Peter, there is a very specific reason the Basilica of St. Paul is located right where it is: the burial place of St. Paul himself. A news story quote (see also here):
With “great emotion” [the Pope] announced that a recent scientific probe confirmed what Catholic tradition has always held, namely that the body of the Apostle Paul is located under the papal altar in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls....

The Pontiff said that recently the tomb was “subject to a scientific investigation. A small hole was drilled in the sarcophagus, unopened for centuries, and a probe was introduced. It found traces of a valuable purple fabric, in linen and gold layer-laminated, and a blue fabric with linen threads. Red incense grains and substances containing proteins and limestone were also discovered. Small fragments of bone were found and radiocarbon dated by experts who did not know their place of origin. Results indicate that they belong to someone who lived between the 1st and 2nd century A.D. This seems to confirm the unanimous and undisputed tradition according to which these are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul. All this fills our soul with deep emotion.”
Amazing. Imagine consecrating the Holy Eucharist during mass on an altar beneath which lies the body of the Apostle Paul himself! Couple this with the relatively recent (1950 and 1968) strong archaeological evidence that the tomb of St. Peter is directly below the altar of the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome and it's doubly amazing. Whoever said the faith is boring?!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Craigslist is silly


Just to try and keep it light around here (thanks again for all your prayers and support), I thought I'd report that in preparation for moving we decided to list a number of things on Craigslist. These are items that we either want to get rid of because they won't fit the style of our new house, or they are simply items that we have no interest in moving or storing. In total, we listed:
  • Sofa
  • Loveseat
  • Large "L"-shaped computer desk
  • Artwork hanging in our office
  • Dresser
  • Large speakers
  • Stereo receiver
  • TV/media cabinets (2)
  • 200 disc CD player
Thinking these would take some time to sell, I listed them all on Craigslist a week ago Friday, in the evening (like 11pm). I had people e-mailing me at 3am in the morning after I had listed the items. By Sunday evening, everything was gone (except the 200 disc CD player). Just like that... cleared out. My only thought was, "What's wrong with you people?" When you have someone calling desperately on Saturday morning to let you know they want the art prints you had hanging in your office, it boggles the mind. I met a guy through Craiglist once (we bought an oven from him) and he said that one time he posted something for sale and within 5 minutes a guy called saying he wanted the item, and within 20 minutes it was gone. Craigslist is silly.

Don't get me wrong, it's fantastic to have gotten rid of so much stuff. And we made around $400, which isn't too shabby since most of the stuff was pretty old (except the office desk; that was a very nice IKEA desk which we just don't have a place for in our new house design). But I had planned to at least have some seating in our upper level for the next 2-3 weeks. Not anymore.

Right now our close date on the home sale looks like it will be July 24. We have a stretch goal to start construction on or around September 1.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sad news


I wanted to do a quick post to let everyone know that recently we found out, to our joy, that we were expecting a new child. However, last Friday at a very early 6-week ultrasound things looked concerning for the baby, and just yesterday at a follow-up ultrasound Molly's doctor confirmed our fears, and saId that a miscarriage would likely be occuring sometime in the next two weeks. I want to keep this brief, I'm sure you can imagine how sad this is for us, especially right after Henry's passing in December. We continue to submit to God's holy will.

Though trivial, I did also want to update to say that our home inspection went very well and that there were no issues. Thank you all so much for your continued generosity in praying for us. We also hold up in prayer all of your intentions.

Saturday, June 13, 2009



We just signed a purchase agreement this evening! We got an offer today from a buyer who came through our house on Thursday (not the people I referred to in the previous post) and it is a fantastic offer. It's within $5,000 of our asking price, the buyer is putting 25% down (making financing fairly easy) and even put down 2% earnest money. It's a very solid offer, one which we were very happy to sign "as is" after going through all of the fine print along with our realtor, (looking for any catches). Praise the Lord!

As hard as it is to continue to say this, we still need your prayers! We need to get through the home inspection this week, and then the appraisal after that. It's kind of nerve-wracking, but it's much less nerve wracking since the buyer is so solid. The good news for us is that the buyer seems willing to do a close date fairly soon (the signed agreement says "July 30 or sooner"), and so we are hoping for a close around July 10.

Well keep you posted, and thank you so much for all of your prayers that helped get us to this point!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Another house selling update (Hint: more prayers needed!)


This has been an interesting week for us. Out of the blue we had 3 showings scheduled on Monday and another one scheduled on Tuesday, and this is after having only one showing last week and no showings the previous 3+ weeks. It's quite a statistical abberation, and there has to be some sort of cause behind it. First and foremost, everyone's prayers are so very appreciated, and they are definitely working! Our realtor also believes that the rising interest rates are flushing people out of the weeds who were waiting to see if interest rates went lower.

The main update is that the people who came through on Tuesday gave us the best feedback we've had in a while, and they are interested in our home. There is an automated feedback form that gets sent to the realtor of any people who come through our house, and their response was the following:

1. Is the customer interested in the property? Maybe

2. How well did the property show? Excellent

3. Please rate this property. 4 (out of 5)

Comments/Recommendations: Beautiful landscaping!!!

Our realtor was able to exchange voicemails with their realtor and she communicated that our home is in their top 3 choices right now, and that she was confident one of the other three was probably not going to be the one because it is in a much further location from where they want to be. So we may be in their top 2. Unfortunately, the uncle of one of the clients passed away yesterday and so they will be dealing with that for the rest of the week. We won't hear back from them until at least the weekend and maybe not until early next week.

Please pray hard that they communicate further with us and put in an offer!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Remembering Henry and Henry's Blanket Travels to Rome

Justify Full(Molly)

I have wanted to pen this post for a while as we just passed this six month anniversary of Henry's entrance into Heaven. Some of you know that I've been dealing with a random flare up of tendonitis in my left hand and needless to say, typing has been quite a chore. So, as important as this post is in remembering our darling son, it has taken me a while to complete.

For some time I have desired a permanent memorial of Henry, one that I could see daily, and hopefully even wear, so that I could share him with those I meet. (We do plan to create a memorial for Henry in our new home, but as of now, it's hard to know exactly when that will happen.) After thinking of a few different options, I finally settled on a ring with Henry's birthstone, Tanzanite, with one diamond on either side to symbolize Brendan and me. It's a sturdy setting, so I'm able to wear it all the time, which I love. It has become a constant reminder of his daily presence in our lives, his prayers for our family, and the short, but meaningful life he lived in my womb.

Before Henry's funeral we received some words of wisdom from the parents of some dear friends of ours. They lost a little girl, Mary Elizabeth, many years ago, and they had the foresight to clip off part of the blanket she was wrapped in before being placed in her casket. We loved that idea, so before handing over a gorgeous white blanket to the funeral director, we cut a corner off of the blanket and later had the edges sewn by Brendan's sister. I have slept with that blanket almost every night since. It has served as a great comfort to our family and I love to imagine Henry's perfect self wrapped snuggly in the blanket.

We were recently offered an opportunity to send the blanket with a family friend to Rome so that it could be blessed by Pope Benedict XVI. There is a beautiful story of how Henry's blanket received the Papal Blessing (one that is too long for me to type in my current condition) and we have been very touched by and opportunity to have the blessing of the Vicar of Christ in our home. The friend, who so willingly brought this treasure to Rome, also placed the blanket on the tomb of the great Pope John Paul II which means Henry's blanket is now a third class relic. Over the past six months I have envisioned our son in the presence of Our Lord Jesus, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and Our Lady. These thoughts have been very comforting to me. Perhaps, though, some of the most beautiful moments in my imagination occur when I envision Henry in Heaven with Pope John Paul II, a man that has so dearly touched my life and inspired our marriage to be what it is today. Brendan and I took the trip to World Youth Day in Rome in 2000 shortly after our engagement and seeing him was one of the most amazing experiences of our life together.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wow, you guys are fast!


We have a showing that just was scheduled for this morning from 11:30am-12:30pm! Thanks for your (very effective) prayers, keep them coming -- especially during the time of the showing.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Home sale update


I'm sure many of you are wondering how the home sale process is going, and so I thought I'd give a brief (graphical) update. Here's a timeline of what has happened since we put our house on the market on 1/16/09 (click to enlarge):

As you can see, we've had a decent amount of showings, and we've dropped our price three times. But it's discouraging that we haven't had an offer yet, and particularly discouraging that our last price drop has not yielded more showings. We're going on three weeks since our last showing, and this lull is despite that fact that we are definitely priced below average compared to similar homes in our area. Foreclosures are still a big problem that's driving down demand for "standard" single-family homes.

Your continued prayers for the sale of our house are certainly appreciated! We know it will happen when God wills, and we also know that having it take this long (and getting a lot less money for our house than we had hoped) is also part of God's plan for us. Just a few more reasons to abandon control to the Lord!