We are thrilled to announce that just over a week ago we became a family of four 👨👩👧👧 ! Although we are exhausted, we are delighted to have a new little blessing!
When J was born, Nicole and I were inspired by other second a day videos. Of course, once we captured our nine-month journey of prepping for our first child we had no choice but to continue this tradition with our second.
(BTW, J is now a crazy toddler, amazing how time flies!)
Adjusting to life with baby M has been a whirlwind and the journey is only beginning. We couldn’t be more in love with her. The Lord has truly outdone Himself, overwhelming us with His Goodness.
So far toddler J seems to be warming up to her nicely, rushing to M’s side with a pacifier in hand at the sound of every whimper.
Thank God for all the beautiful women in my life… now I’m a dad to divas and am slowly getting used to having so much estrogen around. Cheers 🍻 to all the great moments to come.
Whether you’re preparing for the vocation of marriage or have been married for decades, there are a few books that I think every couple must read. I’ve read these marriage books over the last couple years and they have not only inspired me in learning how to love my husband better but have also helped me navigate my way through murky waters when times get tough…and we all experience times like that.
Babies change EVERYTHING. Some would even say that having a baby ruined their marriage and I would have to agree with them. I love my daughter as well as the life my husband and I are building with her, but that doesn’t mean my pre-baby life isn’t ruined. In fact, it’s been demolished.
I can never go back to life before kids…never. From the moment my daughter was born until the day I leave this world, I will forever be a mother.
On our blog we are always working hard to come up with new ways to share our faith and our life with you. We are so proud and excited to share this news. If you are a regular reader you know that this has been nine months in the making.
Inspired by other second a day videos, Nicole and I decided to capture our nine months of prepping and planning for our first child. Introducing the newest contributor to A Couple of Catholics:
When the book, Just Married: The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Five Years of Marriage arrived in the mail only a few short weeks before our wedding, I can’t say that I was expecting to read it anytime soon (let alone write a review for it). At first glance, I imagined it would have some good information, but nothing revolutionary or what I hadn’t heard before. Thankfully, I did find some time on our honeymoon to get started on the book (thanks NFP :D)… And once I picked up the book up, I couldn’t put it down.
Written by Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak, the book’s accessibility and practicality are themes that all couples will benefit from. While the Popcaks are without a doubt writing for a Catholic audience, couples from all different faith backgrounds will find it to be laden with valuable advice.
The Popcaks do an exceptional job stepping beyond the often candy-coated portrayal of newlywed life. Unlike so many other relationship books, Dr. Greg and Lisa supply readers with step-by-step guides and useful exercises to build a strong and lasting foundation for marriage. This book is a quick-read and easy to blaze through, but I found it helpful to stop and take moments to really let their advice sink in. I ended up dog-earing a lot and underlining sections I knew would be useful later. Plus, this served as subtle hints for Pat to take note of as he is currently reading through the book.
In addition to laying down some serious wisdom, they invite readers to seek out their own strengths and shortcomings as a couple. This is really helpful for sparking conversation with your spouse. I found this book to be inspiring as it gave me a sense that the joy-filled marriage we all dream of is in fact possible with faith and hard work of course.
Christopher West, another acclaimed Christian author says that “every married couple—newly married or otherwise—will benefit from this book.” I would whole-heartedly agree. Just Married is highly recommended and would make a wonderful gift for newlyweds too.
This review was made possible with compliments of Ave Maria Press.
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Recently Time Magazine came out with a cover story, “The Childfree Life”, which has generated lots of controversy. While I could add to the conversation by inserting my own opinion, this is not the time for that because ultimately it isn’t really about whether or not a person wants children. When opinions and emotions are striped away from this debate, we find we are left with more than simply a difference in lifestyle choice. We are looking at a difference in core philosophy–a philosophy of our whole understanding of the meaning of marriage.
What is the purpose of marriage?
As my fiancé and I count down the days til our nuptials, we are not only excited for the wedding day; we are excited for the a lifetime together. More specifically, we are thrilled to fulfill our vocational call to marriage. As we see it, there are two reasons people can and should get married.
Marriage is unitive. We love each other so much we are choosing to spend the rest of our lives together (all of it…the ups, downs, heartaches and joys). When we say our marriage vows we are committing ourselves to one another, no matter how difficult it will prove to be at times. Why? We want to spend the rest of our lives helping each other become the best people we can be. Aside from helping one another grow, marriage is uniting with another person in the deepest sense of the word. It is the journey of two becoming one – intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Human beings are made for community, more so we are made for companionship. This intimate companionship can be found in marriage.
Marriage is meant to be procreative. Marriage finds its culmination in the procreation and rearing of children. Marriage is so much more than Patrick and I’s love for one another. Yes that is part of it and a crucial one at that, but getting married without the intention to have children is like stopping short of home base. Love is to be shared and propagated. Marriage will be difficult. There is no denying that. It will take a lifetime to learn and cultivate true selflessness. I fully expect that there will be many times when Pat will irritate and annoy me, but what better reminder would I have of my call to love him than my children? Just in case I ever forget why I love Pat, children will be a continuous reminder of the love we share — a mini me in the next room ramming his toy trucks into the wall.
You see, marriage is not an end in itself. Marriage is the foundation for a life full of opportunities for continual selflessness. This self-giving will be perpetuated in parenthood when our days will be drenched with moments to take care of another, a child who cannot take care of himself. These are opportunities over and over again to step outside of our own selfish world and care for another. This is the point of marriage as we see it. Others may disagree, exclaiming that marriage has a singular purpose–to be committed to another person and enjoy life’s many blessings. To those of you out there we don’t disagree, but joy and happiness for us is not the end goal. The fulfillment of our marriage will be in our selfless choices to love each other and our family.