Gaudete what?

Gaudete. Joy. I know I’m not alone when I say that this particular Gaudete Sunday is not as joyful as usual. At least, you’d get that impression in my house right now where I just sent both boys to bed over an hour early because they simply refused to stop the horseplay.

The day started well enough. The boys and I made it to mass which was not as crowded as usual. The sanctuary was decorated still for Our Lady of Guadalupe full of flowers and candles. It is also the feast day of the Patron Saint of my grandmother’s family…a Sicilian, her maiden name is Santa Lucia. So, I was full of hope.

During the homily William leaned over and told me he felt sick to his stomach. I sent him to the bathroom solo. He claims he did actually throw-up but seemed fine the rest of mass. Then, after we went up for Communion, Joseph whispered he felt sick. He couldn’t get out of our pew until the end of the line. We sit close to the front. Thankfully he did not throw up and just got a sip of water and a breath of fresh air. I think the unseasonably warm temps (in the mid-70s) and no AC in the church (turned off for the season) with the powerful fragrance of the beautiful flowers was the culprit.

After mass we venerated the image of Our Lady and left. We had to make a stop on the way home. At Wal-Mart.

See, this is what happened. My cousin sent me the recipe for one of the traditional treats my grandmother makes this time of year. (This was after she taunted me with pics of some fresh from my grandmother’s kitchen on facebook.) So when Jeff went grocery shopping yesterday, I sent him to get the ingredients we didn’t have. And I didn’t add cinnamon to the list because I mistakenly thought I’d seen it in the pantry. I didn’t, I saw cumin. No they cannot be substituted. And then when Jeff came home from our neighborhood grocery store he had more bad news: they didn’t have any molasses.

So, I had to make the stop. I warned the boys we were getting two things. And that was it. Don’t even ask me for anything. They did exceptionally well. It was a struggle especially since we had difficulty finding molasses there too. (They had exactly four bottles left in the entire store. We live in a huge area for retirees from the Northeast not to mention the military so this time of year, weird things like molasses run out as people make traditional favorites from other parts of the country. And the world.)

We made it home. Jeff is confident we will be able to get a tree next weekend. He is insistent we get a real tree this year. It did not inspire confidence in me that most of the tree places we passed were sold out today. Next weekend may also be hard to find an artificial tree if we cannot get a real one. I can do without a tree but I hate for the kids to be disappointed as they really enjoy having a tree. But Jeff is adamant. So, there you have it.  It was never an issue in years past when we had an artificial tree but our old tree was on it’s last legs so we got rid of it in our move. So, I’m all for waiting to put a tree up but it is kind of a problem if there is no tree.

After lunch, I needed to go to Jacksonville to get my work schedule for next week (after this week where I left work early one day to get a sick child and had to call out my other day for a different child). Jeff decided we could all go together, which I was game for. After my work, we took the kids to a pet store where they have puppies and kittens.

That was so sad to me to see how sad those animals were. There was a beagle puppy that Shelby kept her eyes on. She really misses Gilligan still. The boys really wanted to play with a French bulldog puppy but a lack of staff meant we couldn’t and they were disappointed. We also weren’t buying a puppy today, so, there was that too.

Then I made fudge. Today was too hot to make fudge. It never sets right in warm weather. And yeah, it bombed again. 😦

And after dinner, the boys just refused to calm down. William kept running into walls on purpose. Joseph was running around so much he was making himself cough. I couldn’t handle it anymore. They got sent to bed.

There was joy in today but it was kind of difficult to acknowledge at times. And as I’m finishing this post, Eddie Lacy was being interviewed after the Green Bay Packer’s win and gave God the credit for turning his game around by taking his playing time away in previous games. He said God took that away in order to teach him and help him. Suddenly, Gaudete Sunday seems joyful again. God definitely put struggles in front of me. He surely took away some of the pride in my fudge and the peace in my normal Sunday and filled it with loudness and confusion. I pray that like Eddie Lacy, I can joyfully realize God’s will and be thankful for it.