Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

My Life

All of the posts under the "My Life" category.

My Honeymoon

Well…its been 4 months now that I’ve been married, and as usual I have completely failed to even start working on it, so today, you will get to read all about it.

Kathy and I decided that we would wait a little bit before we went on our honeymoon. Partly this was because we wanted to go on a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean and the sail date wasn’t until the week after. So, we stayed home and relaxed on Monday, and went back to work Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Thursday, we got up and went to the airport. Since our Eastern Caribbean cruise didn’t start until Sunday, we decided to enjoy a couple of days and nights down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to get the most out of our honeymoon. This was quite enjoyable, we got a hotel that was right across the street from the Fort Lauderdale beach (although to be honest, pretty much all of the hotels were this far away). It wasn’t the fanciest of hotels, but, it was nice. We spent the majority of the time walking around visiting the different souvenir shops, restaurants and such.

The one fun thing that we did do was walk a mile to Mass. There was a Catholic Church about a mile away from the hotel and we decided that we didn’t want to spend the money on a cab, so, we walked it…in about 95+ degree weather. It was ridiculously hot, but it was a fun experience. Mass couldn’t last long enough, mostly because we still hadn’t recuperated from the trek, and we were definitely not ready to walk the mile back. We had drank about a half of a liter of water on the way and didn’t see a water fountain for a refill. I made a comment to Kathy during the Mass that it’s too bad they didn’t have some kind of “tourist ministry” where they give rides to tourists who want to get to Mass. Sure enough, at the end of Mass, Father made an announcement that if anybody needed a ride back, to let them know…score!

We got to ride with a guy who apparently decided to retire down there. He was very pleasant, and as we were talking, it turned out that he was also from Minnesota, in fact, his town was in the Twin Cities, so, not very far from us at all. Talk about living in a small world.

The beach was amazing and so was the water. I’ll admit, I was terrified to go in at first because I was worried that I would be eaten by a shark…I watch too many movies.

Sunday morning we checked out of our hotel room and got a cab to drop us off at the Royal Caribbean Port. It was ridiculous, the ship was massive. It was about 16 stories high, and probably about 16 stories wide, if not wider. Going in to check in, it was incredibly similar to an airport terminal. You have your security check ins, baggage check ins, and such. The difference was though, that they take your picture and give you an ID badge. This badge gets you into your room, it acts as your credit card, it basically replaces everything. It is pretty cool, and as a software developer, I am questioning how come we have not implemented this system in regards to our every day lives. Perhaps, one day, we will.

Once we were allowed to board the ship, we weren’t allowed to check into our room just yet, so, since we were hungry, we went up to a restaurant called “Windjammer Cafe”. This was basically an all you can eat buffet restaurant, and the food was amazing. It wasn’t your typical, cheap buffet food, but it was gourmet. I believe that I had two plates of food, and was definitely ready for more. We walked around the ship and just admired the vastness of it all. It was quite the experience. There were so many activities and different rooms that you could go into. It was awesome to say the least.

We went to our room and we had managed to get an outside room with a balcony facing the ocean. It was quite the view. We locked up everything in our safe, unpacked a little and just enjoyed the atmosphere. Also, the bathrooms were incredibly tiny and the toilets were like little vacuums. It was kind of weird at first.

In the evening we went to the ball room where we were to have dinner each night. Dinner was always served in this room unless you wanted to go to one of the other restaurants.

We met our waiter who was from Jamaica, he was quite the character. We had a lot of fun with him throughout the cruise. We also had an amazing “house keeper” who was the nicest person I have ever met. Upon talking to them, we found out how hard of a job they have. They work 7 days a week, they get paid completely on tips, they are under constant review, and if they get any negative feedback, they get demoted. Their jobs are always on the line. On top of that, they work for 6 months straight, generally away from their families, and the most amazing part of it all, is how they are happy with what they have. Meanwhile, here in America, people demand a “livable salary”, plus full benefits, and they still are unhappy with their job. It gave me a new appreciation for my job, even though I am really happy with my current employer.

Our first port of call was in the Bahamas. We were lucky enough to wake up just as we were making port, and we could see the islands just outside our window. It was beautiful. We even ordered room service, and ate on the balcony. Once we were finished, we went out on a glass bottom boat tour and even saw Nicholas Cage’s house. We took pictures and believe that he might be in them…but we aren’t sure. Afterwards we went to the bazaar and bought souvenirs. The people were very pushy and wanted you to buy something from them before you left. They would keep haggling you until you got a price that you wanted to pay. No window shopping, you pretty much bought it. They were really desperate for the money.

Our second port of call was in St. Thomas. We went to a place called “Coral World” which is similar to a Sea World except much smaller. It was still really cool seeing all of the different types of sea life. We went shopping in the little kiosks that they had and it was a lot different. They’d ask you what you wanted, but everything had a set price. They weren’t as pushy, and didn’t want to haggle.

Our third port of call was in St. Maarten. This time we just went to the beach and relaxed. It was nice to just sit there and take it easy. The water was crystal clear and a pretty royal blue. The sand was also white. Very cool. On the way back to the ship we went to do more shopping and the difference in attitude was very noticeable. They were not pushy at all, everything had a set price, and on top of that, you had to pretty much go up to them if you were interested in purchasing anything. Not at all what we expected.

So, between the three different ports of call, it was obvious the difference in the economy. Clearly, the Bahamas was very poor and destitute, looking to make whatever money they possibly could. St. Thomas was much better off and wanted the business, but they also were not going to step aside on their price. St. Maarten must have been doing very well as they didn’t really seem up to making that much money. Now, I could be completely wrong, but this is just my observation.

The other big thing that I noticed was just the general laid back attitude of the Caribbean. People were not in a rush and were very easy going. It was almost a culture shock when we returned back home and how people are always in a rush and that it is clear that in the United States, time is every body’s master. One thing I learned is that even those who are less fortunate than I am, were generally happier due to their laid back attitude. This could just be an outward show, as in, they are suffering internally, but aren’t showing it, but generally you can see through that if that is the case. Time is a cruel master if you do that. How often do we realize that we are in a rush because we have to be somewhere by 4:30, or we have to be in bed by 10?

Overall, the honeymoon was amazing in general, but I feel that it also taught me that I need to be happy with what I have and to not be so uptight about everything as well. Don’t let time be my ruler, as I will not be very happy if I do. Also, I just need to be happier in general. So what if I’m stuck in traffic? I’m still alive, I have a good life and things could be much worse.

I’ll probably add more throughout as I remember, but seeing as the honeymoon was now 4 months ago, I figure I needed to put this out.

Jeff December 2, 2012 Leave A Comment Permalink

On a More Personal Note

Its been an incredibly busy month, at least busier than I had expected it to be. I’m sorry that I sort of disappeared once the election results came in, but, no, I did not go and hide under a rock, nor did I move up to Canada.

I’ve actually been reassessing things lately. What is important?

Its a great question to ask. There is a lot going on. In regards to the blog, I am writing up my honeymoon post, as well as looking into kicking up the Mortal Sin series again. I am also prayerfully discerning what to put in for my conversion story, and what not to put in. I have publicly told my story before, but, I’m unsure what I should put out for “public viewing”. Since I am not a professional Catholic theologian/author/blogger, etc, I’m not sure how to put it out there.

I also started up a Facebook Page for this blog. You can find the link here. I did this more or less to help get more exposure to the blog, as well as to start a community for everyone to get together and discuss. Not to mention, if something is a “hot topic” it always provides good fodder for the blog.

So, in regards to the blog, I’m trying to get more posts up. I really am. I got sick over Thanksgiving break and was really hoping to get a couple of good solid posts up. I know its important to get good material up as well as posting regularly to keep traffic coming back.

On the side, I’ve started a Young Adult group through my parish and the neighboring parishes as well. It is strong with about 20 members. I am planning on giving a talk next month on how to “Learn, Live and Love the Faith”. I’m very excited about this, and of course, planning this talk is taking a bit of time. I’m wondering if it’d be a good idea to record the talk in case it turns out to be great. Or is that my ego going?

I have a side gig that I’m trying to grab motivation to work on, in between trying to get daily prayers, chores and everything else in, without losing my mind in the process. Some days I feel like I waste a lot of time and that time would have been “better spent doing something else”, but at the same time, my sanity is important.

Married life is going well. It is great! I really do enjoy it, even though it comes with its own unique challenges and obstacles that I wasn’t expecting. The changing dynamic of the relationship is still taking some adjustments, but I believe we are doing well.

So, that is a quick update on all that is going on in my life. I’m hoping that things “settle down” soon, but I’m beginning to believe that that won’t happen until I hit retirement. So, here’s to offering up the sufferings to my friends, family, and of course, you!

Jeff November 29, 2012 1 Comment Permalink

Apologies and Topics

So, I just wanted to apologize to my readers. I’ve been pretty busy lately and well, more or less been neglecting the blog. I have a bunch of posts started, but of course, you can’t read stuff that isn’t posted.

I just went to Chicago this weekend for a wedding and am realizing that my 3 month anniversary is coming up. This to me is inexcusable as I have only put up a portion of the actual wedding. I will start cranking this out and will hopefully have both the 2nd part of the wedding and the honeymoon reflections up as well this week.

I also decided that I’m going to post some shorter entries here and there with just maybe a small nugget of info a bit more often. I think I try to go for the big ol’ long posts. Sometimes a little goes a long way.

Thanks for your patience. If you have suggestions for topics, feel free to leave a comment. I sometimes find it helpful when I have something to write about.

Maybe I will work on embedding a poll on the site and whenever I come up with topics or have them suggested, you can vote on what you want to read next. Highest topic gets precedence.


I have included a poll on the right hand side of the blog. It is under the list of other blog entries over here –> You can pick multiple entries as well. Have fun!

Jeff October 9, 2012 Leave A Comment Permalink

Spiritual Discernments

I’ve been trying to figure out what direction I am being called within many things. There are a lot of things going on within the realm of my Catholic spirituality that I’m trying to figure out. Mostly the things I want to talk about, the talks I’d eventually like to give, potential books I’d like to write, the Young Adult group I’m trying to start, my faith life, my career direction and even my current prayer routine (yes, our careers are part of our faith journey as they are our vocation).

Its kind of frustrating to some point. I’d like to be able to say “yes, I will write Saturday for two hours between the hours of noon and two”, but of course, you can’t always force the keys on the keyboard to input into the text editor to display onto the screen the words that you’d like to say or that the Holy Spirit is guiding you towards, they are either there or they aren’t (although sometimes they can be summoned). So, I’d like to at least keep up putting out a post a week at minimum, but its tough. The frustrating part about it is that a lot of times I’ll have something incredibly awesome I’d like to share, pull up the editor and *poof* its gone. Incredibly frustrating.

So, I think what I need to do, is spend more time pulling out the laptop when I come up with something and just start writing it down. That, or when I do spend the time writing I just write what comes to mind. I want the words to flow forth like that of St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, but alas, I am not them. I think that is the most difficult thing for me to realize is that I am me and my writing habits are different. They were also much older and all I have heard about are their successes and not their defeats. Who knows how many times St. Augustine put the ink quill to the parchment before coming up with his masterpiece “Confessions”? I suppose it’ll take time, and I believe that my writing is improving as I am discovering myself through this process.

Eventually, I’d like to give talks on my conversion story and other aspects of Catholicism. It is something I am passionate about. I love discussing and teaching the Faith, which is why I began teaching Religious Education two years ago. I am taking the year off as my plate is already full, that with the Young Adult group and other ministries that I am hoping to be a part of. But, I feel that I have the gift of speech, as I have noticed I seem to be able to find common ground with my audience and bring them in when I talk. Or maybe I’m just full of myself, you tell me.

I think the biggest part of my life is getting into a good prayer routine. I discussed this awhile back about figuring out what you want to do with your prayer life, and when you figure that out, to keep a note about it somewhere. This is important, and I’m beginning to question if a month is too long to determine if something is too much or too little. Some weeks, nothing is going on, and it would make more sense to add more, and some weeks there is a lot going on and it’d make more sense to drop a few items. I say this as I have yet to complete an accurate one month portrayal (I’m currently half way through), as I seem to make it about a week, before forgetting about it and getting off track. Trial and error is apart of life as it is a part of our spiritual journey. Remember that.

I’m currently working on a bunch of posts simultaneously. I’m hoping to have another post this week of something with a bit more substance, just because I have such a huge back log of posts that I want to put out, and because I want to be more regular with posting. There are many things going on in my head.

If you could offer up some prayers for me, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Jeff August 28, 2012 Leave A Comment Permalink

A Brief Update

So much is going on right now that my head feels like it may explode. So, needless to say, I will not be able to blog for the next few weeks. Its not that I don’t want to or that I have run out of things to say (although it does seem funny that the literal second I sit down to write something my head goes blank), but more that I don’t really have the time as of right now to keep up with everything.

I will be on vacation for a few weeks. If I happen to have time to comment or share something, I will. Politically, there is much going on. However, I don’t want this to be a political blog. I will try my best to only comment politically when it involves the Church or Christianity or some form of government overstepping its boundaries to hurt a people of faith. I feel that the commentary I have done thus far has proven this.

Now, nothing bad is going on. In fact, it is a celebration as I am getting married. God led me to a beautiful woman who I will get to share the rest of my life with. This is an amazing gift as I am really lost without her. Prayers are greatly appreciated as the stress of all the last minute details are beginning to get to us. Ultimately though, we have placed everything in God’s hands. I’m very excited for this next step in my life. It will be wonderful.

I suppose I could tell the story of how we met, or what our wedding was like (liturgically speaking ;)), but I don’t have time for that as of right now. So, if you are interested, leave a comment as to what you want. Heck, if you have a specific request, feel free. I find that I can write better when I have a clear topic to discuss.

So, until next time, which who knows when that’ll be. Cheerio!

Jeff July 11, 2012 1 Comment Permalink

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