Kim Padan: Pro-Life Speaker

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Tale of Two Great Moms

Have I ever told you about my mom?  Or my mother-in-law?  I don't think so...which is why I decided to brag just a bit today.  I am so crazy blessed by these two amazing women!  Sometimes, I wonder why God chose to give me not one, but two awesome women to call Mom.

Today is my mom's birthday.  She lives in SC, so I do not see her nearly as often as I would like.  But through the years, mom has always been encouraging to my faith, my work, even my crafty hobbies!  My artistic side comes from her (the musical side is from my dad.)  She is also a great cook...something I only partly inherited.  There are so many reasons I love her... Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

Now, if you look to fairy tales and movies, you might assume that all mothers-in-law are mean, over-bearing, or hyper critical.  Not so with my MIL, Dorothy.  She's fantastic!  She is so down to earth...I think I have seen her upset just a hand-full of times in the 20 years I have been married, and even then it doesn't last long.  I am grateful that she raised Bruce in the Faith, and that she continues to encourage us through the years.  Yesterday, we (the Padan clan) celebrated Dorothy's birthday, which is on Nov. 8th.  Usually, Bruce & I host the party, but since we just returned from Italy, my brother-in-law Chris and his partner Christina hosted (in their new house!)  It is always great to get together, celebrating our beloved Matriarch (Yes, we call her that, sometimes!)  I truly married into a joyful family!

I decided to share pics of the cards I made for these precious ladies, just for fun.  They can only express a little bit of my love for them.

Today, celebrate your Mom!  Whether she is your biological mom, step-mom, adoptive, mother-in-law, or such-a-good-friend-you-call-her-mom...whether she is still living or has gone on to her heavenly reward...  Motherhood is such an important part of God's plan, and we should all treasure these wonderful women!


Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Stamping Projects Went That-a-Way

Yes...for those of you who began following this blog when it was about stamps and ink and designer paper and blog challenges...I have started a new blog for those things.  I am gradually updating the layout of this blog to more ministry posts and personal reflections.

You can find my cards (there are a few posts now) here at the new address for Stamping for LIFE!


Friday, November 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Giving this a try...

Buono Sera!

Yes, I am home now, but that doesn't mean I no longer get to greet you in Italian, right?  I hope the urge to do so does not go away too quickly.

A blog I recently began following, Conversion Diary by Jennifer Fulwiler, has a fun feature she calls 7 Quick Takes.  I decided to join in on the fun...though I barely know what I am doing!  But, I have nothing to lose, right?


Arriving home just before midnight, after roughly 25 hours of travel with very little sleep, did not impact me as much as I expected.  Bruce and I got up at a decent hour (he earlier than I did, of course) and he made a delicious breakfast.  I spent the rest of the morning checking Facebook, a few blogs, and pictures of Pope Francis from the General Audience we attended.  I also talked with my mom about the trip...especially about The Hug.  I am still in a daze!


THEN the long travel hit me...afternoon and evening I was out cold.  I think of people who travel all the time for speaking and such...Father Frank Pavone, Teresa Tomeo, David do they do it?  I better get my endurance built up!


So yes...the truth is, I am NOT writing this on Friday.  But in my defense, I would have, had I not been wiped out from the best vacation of my life.  I will work harder to be on time in upcoming weeks.  Truly, I will.  


After weeks of different food, can I tell you how amazing buttermilk pancakes taste?  Bruce makes fabulous pancakes.  Another reason to love him.


And after weeks of travel, sleeping in my own bed with my own pillow was amazing.  And my own shower, with my own grab bars and shower seat measured for me.  Seriously helped me appreciate the blessings I have.  I had to adjust a lot on the trip, and would not have been able to do much without Bruce.  Have I told you I love him?


On the long trans-Atlantic flight from Frankfurt to Philly, a young mom had an infant who cried almost non-stop. Mom looked very young, reminding me of our clients at Women's Care Clinic.  Like any mom, she was trying desperately to calm her baby down.  I was powerless to do anything tangible, but I prayed for them.  Had to be an important reason to take a baby on a 9 hour flight.  I think it would be good if we all prayed for young parents with fussy kids.  Doesn't mean the parents are bad, or the kids are unhealthy.  Might just be an uncomfortable a huge plane with weird sounds and movements.  Yep...pray for young families.


I hope to continue writing...though it may not be as exciting as a trip to Italy, and a Hug from the Pope...but I hope you stick around.  (We have been looking at the Vatican website, and will be ordering some pictures.  Don't know if I can get a digital one to post here...but if I can, I will!) This could be fun!!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Arrivederci, Italia! We're on our way home!

Buon giorno!

What an amazing vacation we have had!  I hope you have had fun reading my thoughts.   It has been fun to share this with you.

Today, we catch a flight home.   But throughout the days here, I have jotted down some random thoughts.

  • I think a couple of our cabbies in Rome were stunt drivers for "The Italian Job." 
  • Just because you are in Italy, doesn't mean the lasagne is better than mom's. 
  • One of the best things about being Catholic is knowing the mass, and being able to participate no matter where you are. 
  • It must be universal. Small children chasing large flocks of pigeons in a city park is a delightful sight 
  • Which came first? People in wheelchairs not going out in the community because bus lifts don't work or bus lifts not getting fixed because no one was using them and demanding that they be fixed? 
  • But at least the Italians realize much of their country is unreachable or difficult for wheelchairs. Many sites were free of charge to me and a companion (Bruce!) 
  • The sound of bells ringing from a nearby church is beautiful. Even though people now have watches and cell phones with the time on them, I think we should revive bell towers. 
  • A long slow dinner looking out on a piazza, watching street vendors and musicians,  is something I would like to do every week. 
  • I will be happy to wear some of my favorite sweaters and other clothes I had left home, but it is good to know that I can live on a very limited wardrobe if the need arises. 
  • Museums are wonderful, but walking through so many churches is even better. 
  • While I love the look of cobblestone, my hips and back will always prefer concrete or asphalt. 
  • Window shopping at Gucci and Prada is a lot of fun in Italy, which is good, because real shopping would mean I'd have to sell my return home ticket.
  • Lots of people smoke in Italy. Kinda sad. 
  • Three weeks in Italy, lots of time in big cities, and I witnessed very little yelling, no fights, no police sirens. Busy, fast moving traffic and yet we witnessed no accidents. Wow. 
  • Sadly, the saggy pants trend is in Italy too. But it is combined with the skinny jean trend. That's just wrong on so many counts.
  • If you are blessed to travel to Italy, save money for eating out at a nice place at least once. Crazy expensive, but so worth it. 
  • I heard that churches in Italy were empty on Sundays, but they weren't. That made me happy. 
  • No matter how tired you are from walking, be careful before sitting on a beautiful brick wall along a river in a city full of pigeons. Even more so, be careful where you place your hands. 
  • Rick Steves recommended one full day in Florence if you have a three week trip to Italy. Not enough time. We had two days (plus one in Siena) and I wanted more. How did Rick mess this one up? 
  • It's official, I now like cappuccino. 
  • Some art, perhaps most, cannot be truly appreciated until seen in person. 
  • The weather was unseasonably warm and everything is still green. I am pretty sure that I would still like it here if it wasn't. 
  • So many of us in the United States dream of traveling overseas, but it is really nice to meet people who dream of traveling to the United States. We are a blessed nation! 
  • An extended trip with the love of your life should be on everyone's to do list. 
  • Great views, delicious food, beautiful churches... yet nothing tops a hug from the Pope. 
Catch you soon, or at least when the jet lag wears off!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Night at the Opera

Buon Giorno!
First thing, I am confessing that this post is being composed well after the actual day of these events.  Just gradually catching up.

While planing our vacation, Bruce was the one who suggested we end our trip in Milan.  He even suggested that we go to La Scala!  Now to understand the significance of this, you have to know that my husband doesn't listen to all.  He attends some local symphony concerts with me, but definitely prefers the performances with lighter music.  I only listen to opera occasionally, but when I do, I really enjoy it.  I am in awe of the talent opera singers have...the power of there voices, the control over long phrases or hushed tones.  It is beautiful!

Once we decided which days we would be in Milan, I looked up the schedule at La Scala, and saw that Giuseppe Verdi's "Aida" would be on stage.  This is an amazing production!  I could not order tickets until August, and then it was tough because I needed wheelchair accessible seating.  Turns out that I sat behind the last row of seats, and Bruce had to sit on a tiny seat that folded down from the back wall.  Not comfortable at all.  Plus, his feet were on an air grate that made noise if he moved much.  (This is an OLD theater!) But he put it in perspective, "It kept me awake.  I had to make sure I didn't fall off!"  The opera was absolutely beautiful.  The voices, orchestra, set, costumes...Italians know how to do opera!

I will say that before the opera, earlier in the day, we went to the museum next door.  (Pictures not allowed in there.)  We saw beautiful oil portraits of opera stars from past centuries, fun memorabilia like opera scores, binoculars and conductors' batons.  Bruce likes history, so he did enjoy that part.  We also found a fun, modern coffee shop across the street, where we had a delicious afternoon snack:  Cappuccinos and cookies!  We were worried about steps, but they had a very nice chair lift.  Even a large accessible bathroom on the main restaurant level.  I point this out because, well, we didn't see many of those!

That evening, we had to take the subway from our hotel to the opera house.  Knowing that we would be traveling late at night, we didn't bring our camera or tablet for the performance.  I figured I could not take pics during the opera any way.  But shucks, we got there early...and it would have been fun to get a picture of us dressed up for the opera.  But trust me...we were there!

This opera is a tragedy.  The main characters die.  But not fast enough for Bruce.  The performance took about 3 hours, including intermission.  Bruce told me what he was thinking during the final act, when the hero and heroine are left in an underground tomb, dying in each others' arms... "How much air is down there?  They keep singing!  Why don't they die already?"

Precious, honey, and remarkably honest.  One of the reasons why I love you!!