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

Baby Name Pool

By popular request (seriously, I wasn’t even gonna do this) I’ve created a Baby Name Guess Pool.

Please fill out the form below to make your guesses! All names (first and middle) need to be selected from the following. These are all names we considered for this baby (however briefly — some were literally, “How about this?” “Eww, no.”) The actual first and middle names are on this image! Name will be revealed when baby is born. 

Additionally, if you’d like to guess baby’s birthday and stats, you may. For reference:

… baby is a BOY (just in case you didn’t know).

… my “official” due date is February 5, 2016. 

… Henry was born 9 days late (I was induced 8 days past my due date). 

… Henry was born at 6:45 PM. 

… Henry weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 21 inches long

… Only the names are required… the rest is up to you! 

… I make no guarantees that I will tally these answers after baby is born. If anyone guesses the correct first and middle names, I’ll post that on Facebook and give you the kudos you deserve. That’s all. If you guessed more than that correctly, you’re welcome to post saying you did so and take the credit you deserve. 


19 Weeks + Gender Guess Poll!


We’re currently 18 weeks, 6 days (19 weeks, rounding) and chugging along. In general, I feel good! Baby is moving regularly now… I feel him/her more and more each day. 

Today we had our anatomy ultrasound which checks for all sorts of things: presence of all major organs (brain, kidneys, stomach, heart — with four working valves, spine, etc.) It also gives us the opportunity to discover the sex of the baby! We asked our ultrasound tech to secretly take a picture (while we looked away) and label it for the gender reveal party we’re hosting this coming Sunday… yay! Our tech was super nice (and fell in love with Henry) and said she didn’t have trouble determining the gender, which was a concern of mine. 

Henry was also very excited about seeing the baby. When asked if he thinks the baby is a boy or a girl, he has always responded “a boy.” Although there have been times when I’ve asked if he thinks he’s going to have a brother or a sister and he says “sister”… hmmm… 

What do YOU think? We’ll be revealing at 5 PM at our party on Sunday and I’ll be posting the reveal picture(s) directly after. In the meantime, take our poll!

Do you think Baby "Mamertius" (Baby Rupar #2) is a BOY or a GIRL?

  • BOY (62%, 8 Votes)
  • GIRL (38%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 13

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Countdown to the Gender Reveal!


We are super excited that in 22 Days (!!) we’ll be finding out if our little one is a BOY or a GIRL. I believe the general consensus among family is that it is a girl but I am really not sure… and I REALLY don’t care — I’m just excited to know! Our anatomy ultrasound is the Thursday before but we’ll be letting our tech secretly write down (and hopefully print a picture) to pass along to a dear friend who will be create the balloon box for the occasion on Sunday.

We have affectionately dubbed this tiny one “Mamertius” after St. Mamertius, whose feast falls near the approximate conception date. (For the record, NO we will not be actually naming Baby this. It is for in-utero purposes only!)

We will be posting the announcement here shortly after the reveal at our party on September 13. Check back around 5:30-6 PM for the result!! 

Coming Soon…


It’s been several weeks since that little pink line appeared so ridiculously fast I didn’t actually believe it. Seriously, I’ve taken dozens of pregnancy tests in my lifetime and I double checked the box to make sure that the line showing up meant I WAS pregnant. 

Because really. Two and a half years. And meds. That’s what it took for the miracle of Henry to be created. 

And then, poof. 

Two. Months. 

Two months… not of “trying”… of simply “not avoiding” (or “rolling the dice” as others might be more familiar with)…. and here we are!

I texted two of my best friends that day, before taking the test. I asked for prayers that I not freak out in hopes of being pregnant because I was ONE day late. 

I promised myself I would wait to take a test until the next morning, which is the best time of day to do so early in pregnancy. Yeah… Dollar Store pregnancy tests are WAAAY too tempting. 

Several hours later, I purchased three of those, went back home, and immediately took one. 

And then I was staring at that little pink line in shock!


Today, we told Henry he was going to be a big brother. He likes to jump on me (or anyone… or anything) and I finally decided to tell him a few hours early because it was a good way to explain why he can’t jump on Mommy anymore. 

“Mommy has a baby in her tummy… right here.” (pointing) 

Henry reached for my shirt to pull it back saying, “Let’s look!” 

We did look… but not then. Several hours later, having met up with Daddy at the doctor’s office, we were called into the ultrasound tech’s room, jellied up my belly and in less than 10 seconds, were looking at our baby on the screen…. and watching his or her little heartbeat fluttering. It never gets old. Even the tech was excited. So tiny, yet already a strong heartbeat. And moving around quite a bit. 

We’re so excited to embark on this next journey with Baby #2!



On “Free-Range Kids”


I’ve decided I really like this “free-range kids” concept. I discovered it recently and it really speaks to me, especially as it relates to my current favorite book (“It’s OK Not to Share”) and her philosophy of: unless it’s hurting people (or animals of any kind) or property, it’s OK. 

This is basically the rule I live by with my parenting now and working to have “free-range kids” works with it so well.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’ll be several years still before I’d let Henry walk down to the grocery store alone (keeping in mind, the shopping center is accessible from our house without leaving the neighborhood, and only takes about 4 minutes to walk to). But I already love proudly claiming that I am NOT a “helicopter” parent

In fact, I can see the eyes of others around me frequently wondering (sometimes judging) why I allow my child to wander so far away from me. In the grocery store, he frequently likes to sprint down an aisle and, assuming he’s not getting in someone’s way, I don’t worry about stopping him. It wears him out and he has such fun. Why do I need to force him to sit in the cart and be still when he can enjoy himself? Again, who is he harming? I also know that he’s well-disciplined and that, if asked to stop or come back, he will obey (even if not always happily). I certainly couldn’t be comfortable with his little runs if I didn’t know that I had the ability to stop him with my voice. 

kids-playing-outsideSometimes, on these little sprints, he passes a few other people along the way and one or more patrons will turn, looking for a parent. I’m never so far out of sight that they don’t see me quickly, but there has been a time or two when a question is obviously poised on someone’s lips to say to Henry, “where is your mom?” I find it amusing. 

The mall. The park. Really, anywhere. Would I allow him free rein to run through a parking lot? Absolutely not. His ability to judge the proper time to cross the street and watch for cars isn’t there yet… but it will be one day. 

I let my child play in the backyard alone. (gasp!) I peek out to check on him through the door or window every few minutes. Usually, I’m busying myself in the kitchen so I have an easy view of the backyard. And our yard is fenced and gated and he isn’t big enough (yet) to unlatch the gates so I know he’s not going anywhere (I doubt he’d want to wander off anyway…) 

 Now, before anyone goes all crazy on me talking about how unsafe the world is and claiming that my child is going to be kidnapped if I leave him in the backyard alone longer than 3.7 seconds, please read this great article from the “Free Range Kids” blog.




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!


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!