Being a Godparent

While I myself don’t have children, I have a pretty dang awesome godson.  I call him Squeaks 🙂

(When I met him for the first time in the hospital at just a few hours old, his “crying” was more like squeaking.  And so, I dubbed him Squeaks.)

He’s two years old TODAY.  I can’t believe it!  Time is going faster and faster as more years go by.

When I was sharing a story about him recently, I got some questions about what exactly my role is as godparent.  In the Catholic Church, being a godparent is centered around helping a newly baptized child or adult in their spiritual life.  There’s no formal checklist of tasks that a godparent must do (but I do like this article’s suggestions), and the relationship can look different from person to person when you get outside of the fundamental core of helping them grow in their faith.

(Note, a common misconception is that being a godparent and being a guardian for a child (should something happen to the parents) are the same thing.  They certainly can be but don’t have to be.  Being a godparent is a church thing; being a guardian is a legal thing.)

From my point of view, the greatest thing my husband and I can do as godparents is lead by example and support him as he grows up in whatever way he needs.  We’re going to chase balloons and bubbles around the house and have dance parties, and we’re going to call him out when he’s defying something his mom and dad said.  (The first time this happened was hysterical.  It was last fall when he was about 18 months old, and when we busted him for doing something he was just told specifically NOT to do by his mom, the look on his face was, “oh crap, these people are watching me too?!”)  We’re going to celebrate his successes and help him learn and bounce back after he makes mistakes.  We’ll encourage, mentor, guide, discipline, and teach…and I’m pretty sure we’ll learn some things ourselves along the way 😉

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Checking out the elephants during his birthday trip to the zoo today!

 

It’s a big responsibility but also a HUGE privilege to be asked to serve such an important role in a kiddo’s life as a godparent 🙂

Squeaks, we love you buddy!

– Aunt ‘Teph

 

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You’ve Got a Friend in Me

(who read the title of this post and started singing? 😉 )

I have some pretty fabulous friends.

Some I’ve known since I was a kid, some since high school or college, and others I’ve met further into my adult life.

Some of these friendships have been constant smooth sailing while others have had their bumps along the way.  But people who are truly meant to be in your life always end up back beside you, even if you drift apart for a bit.

Here’s a collection of memes dedicated to my friends 🙂

blurting out lyricslaugh a little loudermichelle obama wisdomoctopus on your facesing it back to yousomeone's gonna get itsoulmate friendshipso clear

 

 

Ten Commandments for the Irish

My great uncle, Father John Kilcoyne, was a truly wonderful guy.  A fabulous priest and a dedicated family man with a kind heart and a great sense of humor, he impacted the lives of countless people and is greatly missed. 

I think of him a little extra on St Patrick’s day as a result of being from a large Irish Catholic family AND seeing a piece of art he gave his siblings a long time ago – the Ten Commandments for the Irish 🙂

The picture below is blurry, but here they are:

  1. Thou shalt be loyal to family, friends, and faith. 
  2. Thou shalt keep thy Irish eyes a-smilin’. 
  3. Thou shalt shy away from blarney. 
  4. Thou shalt honor thy motherland. 
  5. Thou shalt see the Trinity in every shamrock. 
  6. Thou shalt halve every potato out of love. 
  7. Thou shalt be kind to wee ones everywhere. 
  8. Thou shalt be generous in blessings, song, and stories. 
  9. Thou shalt follow every rainbow. 
  10. Thou shalt rest easy in the hollow of God’s hand. 


Cheers!

SMR

I Believe in You

Have you heard Michael Buble’s song “I Believe in You”?  It’s super sweet 🙂

The song debuted last October, but the music video just came out a few days ago.  It’s directed by Derek Hough, who stepped in to assist with production of the video while Michael Buble is caring for his child who is battling cancer.

According to an Entertainment Tonight article, Hough’s grandparents inspired the music video’s emotional love story, which features romantic dance sequences. “My grandfather passed away last year and the last couple of years they danced every  single morning together — my grandma and grandpa,” Hough shared. “They danced every single morning to the same song, and it was their ritual. Even the night before he passed, they were dancing together, and then he passed away that night. For me, that was like this beautiful story of everlasting love, and that’s kind of what I wanted to tell.”  I mean…I can’t even!

While there’s the obvious application of its meaning and lyrics to a romantic relationship, I do think that a lot of this song’s elements can also be appropriate for non-romantic scenarios, too – having to start fresh sometimes, believing in one another, being the light for and loving each other.

So whoever it is that you believe in – your significant other, a family member, or a friend – don’t forget to remind them of it every so often, by both words AND actions 🙂

Enjoy the music video and lyrics below!

“I Believe In You”

Time goes by
And I’ve been holding everything inside
But now I’ve got nothing left to hide
When I’m with you, oh, you

But I can see
How strong a man I’m gonna have to be
To do for you what comes so naturally
It’s in the way you move
And all I want
Is a chance to prove
Show all I can do

I believe in starting over
I can see that your heart is true
I believe in good things coming back to you
You’re the light that lifts me higher
So bright, you guide me through
I believe in you

And I don’t mind
If you want to hold onto me tight
You don’t have to sleep alone tonight
If you don’t want to
And all I want
Is to know you’re near
You’re all I need here

I believe in starting over
I can see that your heart is true
I believe in good things coming back to you
You’re the light that lifts me higher
So bright, you guide me through
I believe in you

I know that there are times
Where you feel worthless
Like all the love you get
You don’t deserve it
Sometimes I feel my faith is just a burden
On you, you, you

I believe in starting over
I can see that your heart is true
I believe in love
You give me reason to
You’re the light that lifts me higher
So high up in the sky
I, I think we’re gonna fly

I believe in starting over
I can see that your heart is true
I believe in love
You give me reason to
You’re the light that lifts me higher
So bright, you guide me through
I believe in you
I believe in you
I believe in you
You guide me through
I believe in you

Cheers!

SMR

When In Doubt, Reach Out

(cheesy rhyme, I know 🙂 )

It’s easy to forget – or not realize – how much a kind word or action can mean to someone.

It doesn’t matter how much time has passed since you’ve spoken to someone or heck, with technology these days, if you even know them.

If you feel the urge to reach out, go ahead and do it.  Even if you’re not sure if you should, or you don’t know how it will be received, do it anyway.  I can pretty much guarantee it will be appreciated in one way or another.

Kindness matters.  Kindness is important.  And kindness will always matter and be important.

Here’s an example….  There’s a gal I went to high school with that has been struggling with starting a family for the past few years.  We were never really close, but we always exchanged a hello and a smile when we passed in the hall or had a class together.  She’s shared her experiences publicly on Facebook, and while I don’t honestly remember what finally made me think, “gosh, I want to send her a message and let her know I’m thinking about her and praying for her”, I did it.

Even though we hadn’t talked probably since high school and had only communicated by really ‘liking’ each others posts and such on social media.  Even though I knew nothing about their situation besides what was on Facebook.  Even though I thought for a second, “Is this okay to do?  Will this be received well?  Will be be uncomfortable for her?”

Despite all these questions in my mind, I did it, and I’m SO GLAD I did.  She told me that the messages she’s receiving from everyone that’s reached out were carrying her through moments when she didn’t feel she could go on.  By sending a simple note letting her know I was thinking of her and appreciated her sharing her story.

Simple words and actions can have a big impact, people.  Never forget that.

We’ve exchanged several messages back and forth since last summer, and I’m so glad we’ve reconnected a bit.  After losing several pregnancies in a very short amount of time, she and her husband conceived naturally and are expecting their rainbow baby!  I am so happy for that sweet little boy.  He will be so very loved and already has the greatest parents.

She had been asked by several friends and supporters if there was a registry or wish list she could share for people who wanted to donate or purchase gifts, and I took a glance at it one day.  I noticed that there were quite a few safari/animal themed items on the list, and the itch to reach out hit me again 🙂

You see, just a few weeks prior to seeing that list, my husband had returned from safari in Africa.  He and his business partner got some AMAZING photographs of elephants, so I thought it might be cool to see if she wanted a couple prints to possibly use in some way for the baby.

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I sent her a note, and she was so excited!  She and her husband were wanting his nursery to be filled with people who were praying for their little boy.  So I printed a couple photos and mailed them to her.  It took only a few moments of time and a couple bucks to mail, but they ended up meaning so much to her and her husband that they had them framed and are on the wall in the baby’s room.  (Which, when she told me this, I found to be a HUGE honor and promptly started bawling.)

I share this story not to say, “hey, look what I did”.  That’s not my style and never will be.

Rather, I share this story to simply provide an example that small actions can mean the world to people, even if it’s been years and years since you’ve spoken or seen them.

If something in your gut is urging you to reach out to someone, do it.  You may or may not know the full impact it will have on that person, but it. will. mean. something.  It could simply brighten someone’s day, or in some extreme circumstances it could end up saving them from harm.

Spread the happy, the kindness, and the love, folks.  Always.

Cheers!

SMR

 

 

 

 

Find Out Who Your Friends Are

I laughed a bit at myself today when I realized how often I write about music here.

I think that’s happened for several reasons.  First, I grew up with music.  It was on in our house, in the car, at my grandparents’ house, everywhere.  We went to musicals and other theater shows, I was in choir for awhile, I played the violin and piano for several years, etc.  It’s just part of me.

I also find that I both channel emotions through  and associate emotions with music.  For every mood I have, for many memories I have, for many people in my life, there’s a song that comes to mind.  Examples:

  • Feeling joy?  “Can’t Stop The Feeling”, Justin Timberlake
  • Feeling zen?  Kenny G, Chris Botti, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma
  • Feeling angry/rage-y?  “Break Stuff”, Limp Bizkit
  • Remembering my grandparents’ house?  anything by Nat King Cole
  • Celebrating an anniversary with my husband? “Wonderful World”, Louis Armstrong
  • Road trips with my sister?  “Lifestyles of the Rich & the Famous”, Good Charlotte
  • Dancing on stage with a friend at my wedding?  “Save a Horse, Ride A Cowboy”, Big & Rich
  • Getting thru some of the most challenging?  “Stand”, Rascal Flatts
  • Missing people I’ve lost?  “One Sweet Day”, Mariah Carey

This week at work, I’m listening to cancer patients talk about their journey and their attitudes towards their treatment and outlook on life.  One of the ladies we heard today said that through her journey, she ‘really found out who her friends are’.

While that notion kind of sucks – that sometimes “friends” aren’t really friends when you’re battling day after day the beast that is cancer – I actually smiled, because that’s a song that I associate with a very special friend of mine.  She and I carpooled to work for several years before I moved, and we always enjoyed that song (and sang it!) together.

If you haven’t heard it, check it out in the YouTube link below.

“Find Out Who Your Friends Are” – Tracy Lawrence

Run your car off the side of the road
Get stuck in a ditch way out in the middle of nowhere
Get yourself in a bind, lose the shirt off your back
Need a floor, need a couch, need a bus fare

This is where the rubber meets the road
This is where the cream is gonna rise
This is what you really didn’t know
This is where the truth don’t lie

You find out who your friends are
Somebody’s gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car
Hit the gas get their fast
Never stop to think ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘it’s way too far.’
They just show on up with their big old heart
You find out who you’re friends are

Everybody wants to slap your back
Wants to shake your hand
When you’re up on top of that mountain
But let one of those rocks give way then you slide back down look up
And see who’s around then

This ain’t where the road comes to an end
This ain’t where the bandwagon stops
This is just one of those times when
A lot of folks jump off

You find out who your friends are
Somebody’s gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car
Hit the gas get there fast
Never stop to think ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘it’s way too far.’
They just show on up with that big old heart
You find out who you’re friends are

When the water’s high
When the weather’s not so fair
When the well runs dry
Who’s gonna be there?

You find out who your friends are
Somebody’s gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car
Hit the gas get there fast
Never stop to think ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘it’s way too far.’
They just show on up with their big old heart
You find out who you’re friends are.

Music Monday! Best Friend

You know those times when you’re letting your iTunes run on shuffle and you hear a song you haven’t heard in a long time and you get REAL excited about it?!?

Maybe you do, maybe you don’t.  I certainly do – but I get easily excited about things 🙂

One such instance happened over the weekend, and I just love Jason Mraz’s “Best Friend” for so many reasons.

No official music video, but you can listen to the song in the YouTube link below and read the lyrics, too (pulled from www.azlyrics.com).

Enjoy!

Jason Mraz’s “Best Friend”

Love is where this begins
Thank you for letting me in
I’ve never had to pretend
You’ve always known who I am

And I know my life is better
Because you’re a part of it
I know without you by my side
That I would be different

Thank you for all of your trust
Thank you for not giving up
Thank you for holding my hand
I’ve always known where you stand

Yes, I feel my life is better
So is the world we’re living in
I’m thankful for the time I spent
With my best friend

(You’re my best friend)

Thank you for calling me out
Thank you for waking me up
Thank you for breaking it down
Thank you for choosing us
Thank you for all you’re about
Thank you for lifting me up
Thank you for keeping me grounded
And being here now

My life is better,
Because you’re a part of it
‘Cause I know without you by my side
That I would be different

Yes, I feel my life is better
And so is the world we’re livin’ in
I’m thankful for the time I spent
With my best friend

You’re my best friend. 

Cheers!

SMR