Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New life

It seems like life has been full of pregnancies and births lately. I have two friends who just recently gave birth to beautiful, healthy babies. And it seems like every day someone new is announcing their pregnancy. In fact, the big news in my family is that my brother and his wife are expecting their third child. This, after a 10 year hiatus, took everyone by surprise! They announced it to the family on Thanksgiving weekend via this cute video that my brother put together. Check out these pictures of the family when they found out:

The "Big Reveal" of B&J's 3rd pregnancy

The "Big Reveal" of B&J's 3rd pregnancy

The "Big Reveal" of B&J's 3rd pregnancy

There is just something so magical and special to me about all of these changes. Life is moving so rapidly and change is coming whether we want it to or not. Perhaps because I am manipulating so much change in my own life I am finding some clarity in seeing the changes unfold in other people's lives on a day to day basis. And (Not that everything is about me, but it's my blog so I can make it all be about me, right?) I am finding a lot of similarities between what my pregnant and newly parenting friends/family are going through and what I am going through as I prepare to embark on my own new adventure. I can't imagine what it's like to go into the hospital one day and come out the next day with your very own infant in your arms! When you're going to become a parent many people read books, talk with other parents and buy all the right equipment; yet somehow I imagine that there's really nothing that one can do to fully prepare for what that experience will entail. You just have to live it and experience it and figure it out as you go along.

Well, that's exactly how I feel right now about going overseas. We've been working toward this move for so long. We've met people who have lived there; we have attended session after session in the orientation program; we've bought new equipment. But there's really no telling what it's going to be like to step off that plane in our new home until we just do it. We'll just have to work it out as life unfolds. And there's just something really poetic to me about that. We just need to keep moving forward knowing that God will give us all strength to handle whatever challenges and triumphs are thrown our way.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Car for Sale

Anyone know someone who wants to buy a Subaru? It's a fantastic car and we would never sell it if it weren't for moving abroad!

Here's the link to the posting on Craigs list. Pass it around to anyone you think might be interested!

Welcome Lena!

Lena and Melissa


Born 11/26/11 @ 10:19am
7lbs 2oz

Congrats to Tim, Melissa and Ann!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I have so much to be thankful for and right now I'm even more aware of the blessings in my life since things are about to change so drastically very soon. Of course, I'll still have an uncountable number of things to be thankful for even once we're gone. And in fact, when I'm in Tanzania I suspect that I will be even more aware of my blessings than I currently am. But for now I'm trying to practice awareness of the great things in my life and appreciate all of my surroundings.

Thanksgiving Dinner 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Visit from the Family

Last weekend my brother and his family came up to Ossining for a visit. It was so special to have the time to visit with all of them and catch up. We had a leisurely time together but managed to do a lot of fun things too.

We reserved them their very own apartment at Bethany. I think it was nice for them to be able to stretch out a bit and have their very own space.
Hanging out on Fri night in their apt

But each morning the Waldies merged upstairs in our place for breakfast together. It was so cute.
Eating breakfast in our room on Sat

Watching videos in our apt

We enjoyed going to the local farmers markets and stocking up on some goods.
At the Ossining Farmer's Market

Maddie got to help make stone soup.
Maddie helping to make stone soup

We also spent a good amount of time walking around the Maryknoll grounds and visiting the museum at the Father's. I hadn't been into the Maryknoll Museum before, so I was pleasantly surprised at how cool it was.
At the MK Museum

They had a lot of interactive exhibits and a great video that I thought explained the call to mission really well. They also had this really cool prayer gazebo where visitors could write their prayers on wooden cards and tie them to the gazebo.

Saturday night we played a mean game of Apples to Apples with some of my fellow candidates. Yours truly was the winner, thank you very much! I thought it was really great that the MKLMers and my family could get some time to get to know each other.
Playing cards in the solarium

On Sunday we took a walk along the Hudson. It was a bit chilly, but the sun was out so it was a pretty day.
Walking along the Hudson

Walking to the lighthouse

Thanks, dudes, for a great visit! It means a lot to me.
At the Society

Monday, November 14, 2011

An Ode to PM

If I still lived in Columbia we totally would have gone to Pizza Man for dinner tonight. I was craving a tossed salad with Parmesan peppercorn ranch dressing, french fries and a slice of cheese pizza. I essentially got the same as this at a local pizza place here in Ossining and it was good, don't get me wrong. But it was no PM. Oh, you are missed, my friend!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Sitting overlooking the Hudson during our mid-training retreat

Thursday and Friday marked a turning point for us in the Orientation Program. We spent 2 days on retreat to quiet down and reflect on the program thus far. The retreat officially completed the discernment portion of our training and on Friday we verbally agreed to move forward with our decision to become missioners.

This may seem like a weird semantic situation to most people. I mean, why would we get rid of all our stuff, quit our jobs and rent our house out if we weren't completely sure of this? But MKLM likes their rituals. And they want to make sure that we are absolutely positive that this is the right place for us (and vice versa). So the theory is that up until this point we were feeling things out, praying, and really trying to figure out if this was our place. But now the assumption is that we've gotten a better idea of what we're getting into and that we're in it now for the long haul.

I have to say, I LOVED the retreat! I spent a lot of quiet time walking alone through the woods, sitting by the river, writing in my journal, and just paying attention to God. I can't remember a time when I was so still and quiet. The weather was warm and the scenery beautiful. What a special treat to have that time!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Google Voice

We got a Google Voice number a while back so that I could send text messages for free and also so people could leave voice mails for us when we're abroad. When people leave voice mails for us on GV, it emails us a (poorly done) transcription of the message. Here's one I got today from a fellow MKLMer:

"Hey, Ohh, this is maria in Washington. I am at the mechanic. Gardiner very close to the capital on the south side, of the Catholic he just start barely along the mom this is reachable to panic gardens and I need to eat some lunch in a meeting at 130 just finished talking to some 22 year old, climbers and I wanted to get a chicken ass, but alas, that's done, one more meeting 130 beautiful day gimme a call if you guys only for lunch or later. "

Last Day in DC

We're winding up our Collaborative Formation Gathering in DC and tomorrow we will be heading back to NY. Yesterday and today we have been wandering around DC and seeing more about how our government and the Catholic Church work.

Yesterday we met with a variety of organizations, mostly Catholic, that work on social justice and global peace issues.

TASSC International Offices
The most powerful place we visited was TASSC International, an organization to support survivors of torture and advocate for its abolition. Their offices are tucked away among the various buildings associated with the Catholic University of America and when you walk in there you can just sense the pain and suffering of the people they serve. They said they have a caseload of over 300 people and that every day approximately 2 new cases walk through their doors. If I lived in DC I would definitely volunteer for them.

In the afternoon we visited the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the big dogs!

USCCB Offices
They told us a bit about how the Conference works along with Catholic Relief Services to lobby the US government to fight global poverty and injustice. I may not always agree with them on all of their stances, but it really gave me a broader picture of how much good work the Catholic Church does around the world. I know we (the Catholic Church) get a bad rep in a lot of ways, but seriously folks, Catholic Social Teaching, check it out. It's pretty revolutionary, I think.

Today we break off from the group and visit our State Senators and Representatives. Just want to make an introduction and let them know that they have constituents abroad and that we'll be monitoring how US policy plays out on the ground in developing countries. We'll see how that goes.

AND, this afternoon we get a visit with PAULA!!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Visits with Friends

The goodbye tour for the Reids has continued in DC as we've gotten some special opportunities to say goodbye to more friends.

On Monday night, which just so happened to be Halloween, we got a bonus visit with one of Chris's oldest friends, Jeremy, and a special meeting with his girlfriend Jan. They were in town from San Diego for a work trip this week.*

2 Muchadors!
Jeremy and Jan dressed as Mexican wrestlers, Luchadors, or "Muchadores."

We also got to see them on Thursday night too. Double bonus!

On Tuesday night we met up with my friend from NYU, Emily, and her husband. They're in limbo before moving into their new (gorgeous) house, so we hung out at her parent's house and had an amazing dinner!

Emily cooking a kick-butt dinner
I love their dog, Paloma, sitting with her legs spread in the background waiting for Kevin to come home and play with her.

Visiting with Kevin and Emily

I guess I've probably already said this more than once already. But I'm going to keep saying it because it's true. It's really a special thing to have so many supportive friends and family accompanying us on this adventure. And, it's been a wonderful experience having the opportunity to see so many of our dearest loved ones in such a short period of time. We'll definitely draw from these memories when we're struggling with temporarily having no familiar faces or loved ones near to us.

*I was going to plop a link in here to my blog post about when we recently visited Jeremy in San Diego, only to realize that I never wrote such a blog post! I guess things got really busy at the time and I just forgot. All I said about our trip was the massive power outage, which is hardly representative of the great time we had. Oh well, the pictures of the trip are on Flickr.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

What's in a seed?

Have you ever known that you can eat the insides of the seeds of an apple? In fact, I've discovered that they're one of the most delicious parts of the apple. They have a very subtle, nutty grenadine flavor. I just learned this fact from a fellow missioner and now I can't seem to stop eating apples, mostly to get to the yummy seeds inside.

For 33 years I've been eating apples (well, maybe a little less than that since I probably wasn't eating apples when I was a newborn) and throwing away the best part, not even knowing that I'm missing anything.

I think there's got to be some sort of analogy there. Maybe that's what my job will be as a missioner-to seek out the gems that have been discarded by society or others as useless in life and appreciate them for all their beauty and subtly.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Happy All Saint's Day

I'm having trouble keeping up with the blog and documenting everything that is going on as it's going on. Chris seems to be keeping up with it a little bit more. So I feel like I'm behind the ball. But for the sake of keeping things up to date I'll keep posting, even if it's past due or has been posted somewhere else already.

On Sunday we met up with my family in the city for brunch. It was a sort of last-minute arrangement and I was so glad to be able to see them, even if just for a short time. Here's a shot of my mom at Friend of a Farmer. The food was so good, as always!

After brunch, we (mom, Chris, I and several MKLMers) attended the centennial Mass of the Maryknoll Father's and Brothers at St. Patrick's Cathedral. To be brutally honest, it was sort of your standard long Mass with a lot of pomp and circumstance. But they had a few cool touches in it.

For example, they started the Mass out with a procession of all the flags from the 47 countries that currently have Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. It was really cool! They also read the Prayers of the Faithful in six different languages (while we read along in English).

I did feel a special sense of pride during the Mass. To be a part of such a great movement with a history of dedication to service around the world is an amazing privilege!

Following the Mass we took a bus to Washington, DC. We're down here for the next 10 days to continue our cross training with 3 other mission organizations. I was sad to leave our temporary home at Bethany, but it's been a good change of scenery. Plus, we've already gotten to see some friends and will continue to see more as the week progresses. For the past 2 days we've been learning about Catholic Social Teaching and community organizing. I hope to post more about those sessions when I have a bit more time.