Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

November 26, 2020

Today, we have SO much to be grateful for!  While we are certainly limiting those who enter our homes, we are so grateful that our college girls are home!  No matter how you look at 2020, it has just been a different kind of year.  The 'different' of this year is something my family is now very grateful for as it allowed us to look beyond ourselves.

There is a joke in my husband's family that they "Wroblewski-size" everything.  After being married for a little while, I finally understood the joke....why get a little grill when you can get the 'Wroblewski -sized' one?  Why get a drill with only a little power when you can get the 'Wroblewski-sized' powered drill?  I remember thinking....wait until we need a deck or something like that!  And sure enough....over the course of our 25 years of marriage, we have now built two 'Wroblewski-sized' decks!

Anyway...back to Thanksgiving.  Due to Covid-19 we have not been able to visit my mom or Jim's parents as we had been able to in the past.  With Thanksgiving, everyone is feeling most comfortable to stay within their own homes so because of this, we decided we would bring Thanksgiving to them!

So, first things first: The Turkey.  One Saturday in come my boys (Jim, Jer and Noah) after grocery shopping with not just one turkey, but two of them. The turkey had just been upgraded to the "Wroblewski-size"!

This ended up being a gift in disguise.  We moved from making meals for grandparents to making meals for those who did not have the gift of others to be with during this pandemic.  We "Wroblewski-sized" Thanksgiving and spent yesterday, the day before Thanksgiving, making meals for others.  

Tabitha was in charge of pies. 

Jeremiah was the shopper (for all the things we needed last minute) and helped with the turkey, 

Teresa created the cards (aren't these gorgeous...maybe she should consider being a card maker!) and was the cranberry sauce maker, 

Noah made a delicious non-traditional grasshopper parfait.

I was in charge of the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, corn and gravy (I imagine our Thanksgiving meal consists of these items because it was what I grew-up growing/making from scratch on the farm).

Jim is in charge of deliveries....from Chaska, to Excelsior, to Coon Rapids to St. Cloud!

For us, Thanksgiving has traditionally been about bringing our own family together.  While we desire to be together under one roof again, this year's pandemic took us beyond our ourselves and with a  'Wroblewski-sized' Thanksgiving, we were able to share Thanksgiving with so many more than would have fit in our house!  I think this is the beginning of a new tradition!

Feeling so grateful...blessings on your Thanksgiving Day!

Apple pies in the making

Pumpkin pies

Pumpkin pie

Apple pie

Pecan pie

Making cranberry sauce


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Coffee: What's the big deal?


I have always been a proud non-coffee drinker.  

I have spent years smelling the coffee maker in the kitchen as it percolates the same kind of coffee every morning.  I remember my parents sitting in the morning, sipping their coffee and just "being" together.  They must have enjoyed it for some reason, but I never had been able to figure out why.

I just could not fathom the draw to such a drink.  

My dislike for coffee grew a little more with each of my six pregnancies.  By the time we were expecting Noah, the coffee pot had to be moved to the garage! My sense of smell was so acute that just passing by the pot (without anything in it) sent me running for the bathroom.

All that being said, in the past couple years of life's journey, the household coffee pot has grown from a 4 cup pot to a 12 cup pot.  Two years ago we graduated the coffee pot and moved to an expresso machine and at the same time I began trying a little coffee (like 2 tablespoons) with a lot of milk.  

This went well!

Over the course of months, those 2 tables spoons have grown into 3/4 of a cup!  In true confessions, I cannot handle black coffee (it is simply too bitten for me).  I have yet to learn all the language of the true coffee extraordinaire, however, I have settled into a routine of hand brewing 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds into a mug, warming coconut milk to fill the reminder of the cup and then topping it off with a tablespoon of sugar and a mound of whipping cream. This mug of coffee has become known as "Mom's coffee" and sure enough, I have children asking me to make them some as well!

I have learned to enjoy the simplicity of sitting at the kitchen table, coffee in hand, catching up and "being" with Jim on the weekends.  As the girls return from college, there is something so delightful in sitting around the living room, drinking coffee and catching up.  Maybe it is not really the coffee that is the big deal, it is the power it gives one to just stop and take a break.

I never thought I would hear myself say, "I really am enjoying my coffee today!"

Whether it is coffee or something else, I am reminded of something St. Gianna Molla said, "The secret to happiness is to live moment to moment and thank God for all the things he sends us."

Take a little time sometime soon and live the moment.  Give yourself the time to take a break.  

For me....I am going to have a cup of "Mom's coffee" and just BE.


Sunday, October 4, 2020

St. Francis of Assisi

October 4, 2020 

Today is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.  

A short two years ago, my daughter, Samantha, studied abroad in Austria.  One of the blessings of this adventure was her opportunities to travel around Europe.  One such outing was to Assisi!  

She shares about her journey in a journal she kept called Have Courage, Be Kind linked here and here

I could never know what she experienced unless I had been there, but her pictures of Assisi speak to the heart of who St. Francis was...a man of great peace and desire for God.  May we all strive for the same.


Basilica of Santa Chiara

Basilica of St. Francis at the Tomb of St. Francis

Basilica of Santa Maria degli

Home Again!

 October 3, 2020

This weekend my college girls come home!

While the house has become increasingly active and substantially louder (girls really make a lot of noise!) I forgot how much space all of us take in a pew at Mass and I feel like I haven't stopped cooking!  But....I wouldn't change the last few hours!  There is not much to say but that this "mama's heart" is full!! :)

We did the traditional food shopping trips, they raided our pantry and spent a joyful couple days with their friend that was married on Saturday.  

Psalm 127:3-4 says “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands”. Children are blessing from God. The fifth verse of Psalm 127 says “Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them”.

We are blessed!!


Guardian Angels

October 2, 2020

Today is the Feast of the Guardian Angels

and as stated before, I simply love angels.  Perhaps it is due to how close the word is to my name...perhaps I just live the idea of a being whose role it is to represent us before God, to watch over us always, to aid our prayer and then present our soul to God at our death.  

In Matthew 18:10 it says, "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father."

Additionally, I have found a resource if you are interested in learning more about angels.  It is linked here.

This picture is one that I remember from my childhood.  There is something very comforting in knowing that an Angel is always with us, guiding, guarding and lighting our path.  It has been said that the first name you wake up thinking is the name of your guardian angel.  I have tried numerous times to go to sleep with this on my mind and awake with a name, but alas, a name has never come.  While that may be discouraging to some, for me, it has been reassurance that the divine cannot be put into words, or into a name.

A prayer by Pope John Paul II in a General Audience on Aug 20, 1986:

"Angel of God, who are my guardian, enlighten, guard, govern and guide me, who have been entrusted to you by the heavenly goodness. Amen."

Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael

 September 29, 2020

Today is the Feast day of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.  You many be like me and simply LOVE angels.  These three angels are the only ones named in Scripture.

St. Michael: 

St. Michael is seen in the book of Daniel with his vision as the "great prince" who defends Israel against its enemies.  And in the book of Revelation, he leads God's armies to final victory over the forces of evil. 

St Gabriel: 

He appears in Daniel's visions, announcing Michael's role in the God's plan.  He also appears to Mary and announces she will bear a son.

St. Raphael: 

His activity is in the story of Tobit from the Old Testament.  He appears to guide Tobit's son through a series of adventures: 1) His marriage to Sarah, 2) Healing of Tobit's blindness and 3) the restoration fo the family fortune.


Michael protects

Gabriel announces

Raphael guide


Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael are the Patron Saints of:

Police Officers

Saint Gabriel is the Patron Saint of:


Saint Raphael is the Patron Saint of:

The Blind

Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel and Saint Raphael, Pray for us!

Monday, September 7, 2020

College Drop-Off Number 2

September 7, 2020

Friday I took Tabitha to college.  Everything I wrote two weeks ago, could really just be re-written!  How do our little ones grow up so fast! How is it possible that my fiercely strong and independent girl can be left in Duluth...indefinitely?!? Looking at this very impressive building, I she going to get swallowed up?

Even though the heart does what the heart does feel different leaving a child at college for the first time verses the 2nd, 3rd or 4th.

And all my feeling were melted away when I received a text from her bright and early Saturday morning. Tabby shared that she had stayed up with her roommate, comforting her because she was so sad to be at college.  It is one of those moments when you know you must have done something right in parenting. Tabitha's plan is to go into nursing....she has always been great at caring for others but to see it from a greater distance, well...this mama's heart swelled with pride (the good kind). 

She is right where she belongs! It is time to let go of the kite string and watch her soar. 

I rest with peace knowing that she will remember that: "It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving."

Thanksgiving 2020

November 26, 2020 Today, we have SO much to be grateful for!  While we are certainly limiting those who enter our homes, we are so grateful ...