Siena's To-Do List

As we prepare for Siena's big debut on January 14th, there are a fair number of practical preparations to be made.  Coordinating the kids, kenneling the dog, arranging for help with meals and household things, etc., etc., etc......  Suffice it to say it's a big list!

Alongside practical preparations, however, there are also spiritual preparations to be made.   The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in La Crosse, Wisconsin has become a favorite place for our family to visit together, particularly when we have something specific weighing on our hearts.  It is no surprise then, the the Shrine has already become an important place in Siena's life as well.

May 4th, 2014
Mom was having a tough time after her miscarriage in April so we visited for a quiet Sunday of reflection.   This visit happened in the *sweet spot* between my last period and Siena's conception.


August 29th, 2014
For Kenna's birthday, mom was brave enough to visit the Shrine with just the kids and no daddy!

October 21, 2014


I knew that making another trip out to La Crosse before Siena's birth, this time with her in our specific intentions, would be special for me if we were able to make it work.  I love being able to receive the sacrament of reconciliation right before Mass no matter what day it is, walking the grounds (Tim and the kids made me ride to the top of the hill in one of the available carts), lighting candles, and just enjoying our time as a family together.  I think bringing kids to holy places is super important, even if our footprint on such sites might be larger than I would like at times!   

After reconciliation (for some) and Mass (would not have been complete without Lucie on my right emptying a bottle of hand sanitizer to clean the pew and Caleb on my left licking and smearing his spit all over the same pew......oh autism), we took some time to each light a candle and say a prayer asking for St. Gianna's continued intercession on behalf of Siena.  The kids all brought their own money from their 2014 *share* jars so they could each light their own.  Tim wrangled the boys and Lucie out fairly quickly after that, but Kylee and I stayed a few extra moments to ask for St. Therese's  intercession as well.  (See the artwork from inside the shrine church, here.)


During this past December, a new guardian angle statue was dedicated on the shrine grounds, in the Memorial to the Unborn.  This was the first chance we had to see the statue and since I happened to have a new ultrasound picture of Siena from yesterday, we got a great shot of *all* of the kids.  I figure this is a great spot for such a picture, as Siena's guardian angel has been working double time already!

On our way down the hill, we stopped in the Mother of Good Counsel Votive Chapel to light a candle for Siena for the next month.  The timing ended up working that we were planning to visit the Shrine today, and then last night Tim's sister called to let us know that a friend's baby boy was being delivered at 30 weeks due to some complications.  I'm always glad to take other intentions to the chapel as well and we were able to light a candle for another baby in need of prayers.  Last we heard, he and mom were doing well and we pray that will continue to be the case.  The first picture is of Kylee next to the two candles we lit, and the second one is of her next to the Our Lady of Knock window.  We studied the apparitions in the chapel windows this fall as part of our cooperative group and she really wanted Daddy to take her picture there!

We were blessed to have beautiful weather for a January day in Wisconsin.  I had hoped that Siena's godparents and family could join us, but a- I didn't actually remember to ask until yesterday and b- they have strep throat going around.   I said an extra prayer they will be all healed up in time for Siena's big day in a week or so!

While they all work on healing up, we will work on staying well, and I will get back to the *practical* to-do list feeling refreshed!

1 comment:

Lisa Steger said...

I wish we could have been there today with you too. What a special trip for the whole family though.