hidden life

The Ups and Downs of Maryland

Here I am again. Desperately trying to get myself into the habit of blogging. It’s so hard because there are so many priorities in our busy lives. Sometimes I’m astounded by my fellow moms’ abilities to budget time to blog. I’ve realized, it’s just about what’s important. 

I think regularly about how I want to write about this and that and, ugh, I hate that these ideas just seem to slip away from me. 

So here I am. Again. Except, I think (I hope) that now I’m feeling a *little* more committed than in the past. My new committment: to take 15 minutes every weekday at the beginning of Oliver’s afternoon nap/Henry’s quiet time and blog. Period. No excuses. No dragging my feet. 

I can blog about whatever comes to mind. I set a timer for 15 minutes and WRITE! 

So, here I am. Okay, enough intro… I’m gonna waste my 15 minutes today at this rate!

2.5 weeks ago my family moved to Southern Maryland. No, not Annapolis. That’s not southern Maryland. Believe it or not, there’s quite a bit of Maryland below that. In fact, we’re quite a bit south of D.C. 


Don’t worry, I didn’t really realize it was there either until about two months ago. 

Moving is hard. If you’ve ever moved more than just across town, or with kids, or when you’ve lived in the same place for several years, you probably know this. I just did all three at once. Two kids, one who isn’t even mobile yet, six years in our previous house (which means we’d accumulated a LOT of stuff), and 6.5 hours away. To a place where we knew exactly NO ONE (minus our realtor who, unfortunately, is still 45 minutes away). 

I’m just starting to get my feet back under myself. 

I’m regularly bouncing between utter joy at having a beautiful home twice as big as our last and downright terror at the fact that I don’t yet have a job and, oh my goodness, we can’t even afford to pay rent! Once I *do* have a job, we’re going to be doing famously. In the meantime, it’s major penny pinching and waiting to purchase this or that because we’d like to, oh yeah, buy food this week. 

So far, my favorite things about Maryland: our larger, beautiful home and the cool real “autumn” weather. It’s also nice to only be about 1.5 hours from D.C. and a good bit of extended family. We were blessed to be able to attend our niece’s baptism last weekend which we would have otherwise missed. 

Things I do NOT like about Maryland (particularly our little corner of it): the bugs. What the what?! There are SOOOO many bugs and I’m kinda going batty over that. More on that later. Being so far away from… anything. The closest gas station is about a 5 minute drive. The closest grocery store? 20 minutes. I used to be able to walk to the grocery store in about 5 minutes. Ugh. That has been tough. 

My time is up. Here’s a few pictures to chronicle our first weeks in SoMD…

Henry in his first bedroom in Charlotte, after we were all packed!

Henry in his first bedroom in Charlotte, after we were all packed!

Oliver in his first bedroom in Charlotte, after we were all packed!

Oliver in his first bedroom in Charlotte, after we were all packed!

Moving Day

Moving Day

Our first day in the new house

Our first day in the new house

My new favorite way to pray

I don’t know how I didn’t think of this sooner. After all, I got the idea from one of my closest friends here in Charlotte and I see her (and her kitchen) regularly. 

You know how there are always people you promise to pray for… but how often do we really do so? How can we possibly remember every person who has asked for prayers? 

I had tried just having a family prayer journal, my goal was to look at it daily and, in it, list the various intentions from friends and family. But, let’s get real, I don’t sit down to do that every day. Perhaps some of you do… it’s not possible for me. I’m not a morning person. Getting up before I need to be up is a lost cause. 

I mentioned a friend that I got this idea from. She has a little white board propped up behind her sink where she lists specific people to pray for. How easy is that? How many times per day do we moms (and dads) stand at the sink? The problem for me was… I didn’t have nearly the counter space she has. And… I didn’t really want just a plain white board hanging above the sink. 

I created a picture frame dry erase board. I found an old picture frame. I printed a beautiful scenery painting of Calvary, ghosted it out a bit so it was just barely visible. And then I wrote on the glass of the frame with dry erase marker. Huzzah!

2015-02-23 13.24.31

(intentions are blurred to respect the privacy of my friends & family)

I have been praying for and keeping these intentions closer to my heart in the last week than I’ve possibly ever done so. I look at the names listed probably 20-50 times everyday! And I can offer up each bottle scrub, each pan cleaning, for those intentions. It doesn’t get any better than that. 

But then… I also wanted to remember specific people on specific days. And I wanted to keep up better with Saints’ feast days. Again, another idea stolen from another friend. Back when I was doing fertility testing, this other friend texts me one day randomly to say: “Hi! I hope you are well today. I had you on my prayer calendar to pray for so I know you had an doctor’s appointment of some kind but I don’t recall what…. but I am praying for you!” I was beyond touched! I had only mentioned this appointment in passing to her and, she remembered! What peace it brought me to know that someone was praying for me… I had been nervous about the tests! 

Now that I had my prayer intentions at the sink, It only made sense to put a prayer calendar up too.  I simply made a copy from my church calendar! So all the major feasts are there already… and I have space to write-in my own:

2015-02-23 13.24.47

(intentions are blurred to respect the privacy of my friends & family)


And, a top the calendar, is a weekly schedule to focus on certain other intentions each day:

Sunday – our family

Monday – our godson

Tuesday – all special intentions

Wednesday – all those trying to conceive or adopt

Thursday – all who are ill

Friday – all who have died

Saturday – all those who are pregnant

Now, I can not only focus on important intentions each time to go to the sink, but can remember specific events and people on certain days and more inclusively remember everyone who has asked for prayers. I still list specific people in our family prayer journal and look at that at least once per week (on Tuesdays!) so I can recall those specific intentions. 

Do you have an intention I can hold in prayer for you? Please email me: laurenrupar at gmail dot com!



The spirits are lifted so easily on beautiful days like this… high near 70… sun shining… it’s warm enough again (finally) to wear short sleeve shirts. You can smell the joy and hope in the air. Let me bottle this so I can let it out and breathe it in when it’s skin-soaking cold in a few days or weeks (it’s too early in the season to expect this to last… not a complaint, just a fact). Close my eyes and remember this. And smile.

The spirit is willing
But the flesh is so weak

Our flesh thrives so much better in these beautiful days. But our souls learn how to thrive in all weathers. Dear Lord, help me get there.


We mothers lead a hidden life.

I wonder if Mary ever sat at the table eating her midday meal alone. Jesus only wanted a few bites and then needed to race off to play with His toys. Joseph was off in his workshop building diligently to provide for his family. And Mary sat alone… with the tinkering sounds of Jesus’ toys and Joseph’s tools in the background.

And she held these things in her heart.



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Hi, I'm Lauren. Mommy to two, nanny to two, wife, teacher, homemaker, Catholic, artist, writer, friend, sister, daughter. Here you'll find everything from updates about our family, info and advice about parenting and homemaking, or pretty much anything else I feel like writing. Welcome!